Saturday, 18 April 2015

Promotion Ambition Still Blossoming at Evesham

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Saturday 18 April at the Jubilee Stadium
Evesham United 2 Tiverton Town 1
Southern League Division One South & West (Step 4)
Ground 563.  Here because of proximity to the West Midlands where I was paying a flying visit to the ancestral home.
Pre-match preparation
Tiverton have mid-table safety in the bag.  In the Evesham bag is a home tie in the divisional playoff semifinal.  Results from this week and next week will decide who finishes 2nd & 3rd from Evesham and Stratford Town, and therefore who would have home advantage in a subsequent playoff final.  Tiverton are one of only a few teams to have taken the points off Evesham this season.
This match in one sentence
Evesham trailed at half-time but did just enough to win a forgettable game.
So what?
Stratford Town were winning 6-2 at the same time but they go to divisional champions Merthyr Town next week.  Evesham and Stratford will line up against Taunton and Larkhall in some combination in the playoff semi-finals.  Evesham’s game is away at mid-table Bridgwater. 
The drama unfolds
It was a sunny but breezy day and both teams played safe when faced with a bouncy ball on a dry and dusty pitch.  Aerial passes were dropped into channels and the centre-backs of both sides were busy but mostly effective.  Most of the chances came from set pieces but plenty of those were wasted too.  There was very little shade and it is too early in the season for my balding pate to take on a full dose of ultraviolet so I sat in the main stand and finally got around to taking one of the most tedious clips of the season after 20 minutes or so.  I wouldn’t bother watching this unless you are an obsessive completer-finisher, or all your paint is dry, or you are having trouble sleeping.  It does, however, show the lovely open and rural aspects of Evesham’s relatively new home.  The home side are in the red-and-white stripes.

Tiverton took the lead shortly afterwards with a route one goal from Tony Lee and to be fair probably just about deserved it.  0-1 after 25 mins

Evesham were very unlucky after 32 minutes when a well-executed shot-on-the-turn from Carl Brown came back off the woodwork, but that was about it.  0-1 at half-time

Evesham started the second half on the front foot and it was not too long before the equalising goal was hooked in by Matt Sysum.  1-1 after 53 mins

The game then settled into a long period of stalemate – maybe with Evesham showing a little more attacking intent and Tivvy happy enough to wait for the break – until the ball fell nicely in front of goal for Lance Smith.  He buried the chance to give Evesham the win.  2-1 after 82 mins and at full-time

The news of Stratford’s win came through immediately meaning that the players will probably have to do the same again next week, and hope Stratford stumble, to keep open the hope of a home playoff final.
Ground Pix

Match Pix

Goalkeeper Top Colour Stats
Last week, Cambridge United (green) and Accrington Stanley (purple) played out an unblogged 2-2 draw.  Today, green has beaten blue.  The net result is that green goes to the top of the table.  Full table to follow at the end of the month.
What Next?
Follow @GrahamYapp on Twitter for details!  A lot depends on how I am feeling at the end of the first week of a new school term!

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