2.4.2011

Zamaretto Southern Premier League

Evesham United

Jones (10), Shaze (21), Accam (76), Palmer (89)

Hednesford Town

Patterson (27)

(2) 4

(1) 1

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

210

Kyle Patterson

W W W W W W W W D L

Bedford Town (H) 9.4.11

Mid-table Evesham United turn the form book upside down this afternoon as they condemn Hednesford to their first defeat in eleven games and struck a big blow to the Pitmen's title dreams in the process

Tuesday night's draw at home to Didcot Town had brought the Pitmen's long winning run to an end and checked their surge up the Zmaretto Premier League table. Manager Rob Smith made two changes to his side for today's trip down the M5 as Alex Melbourne and Kyle Patterson came back into the side in favour of the injured Ross Davidson and Nick Wellecomme

United - currently residing at Worcester City's St. George's Lane ground whilst their new stadium at Cheltenham Road was being built - sat in twelfth position in the table after an inconsistent campaign to date for the Robins, further highlighted with only one win in their last eight games. Having had a free weekend last Saturday due to Windsor & Eton's winding-up order, Evesham manager Paul West made five changes to his side that had started their last game, a 1-0 defeat at play-off chasing Chesham United, as Andy Jones, debutant Michael McGrath, Sam Mensah, Isaac Shaze and David Accam all came into the side in place of Calvin Dinsley, Sam Hunt, Marcus Palmer, Louis Hamilton and Fazel Koriya

It was a beautifully bright, sunny day in Worcestershire, although the turnout was low as only 210 paying spectators turned up to watch, with nearly half of these supporters of the away side. The pitch was in dreadful condition, having hosted two senior teams for a full season, with large patches of sand adorning the St. Georges Lane pitch. There was an impeccably-observed minute's silence before kick-off in memory of Evesham's life-vice president John Holtom, who had recently passed away

On the bobbly and sandy surface, the hosts got to grips with conditions with ease and created the first chance of the afternoon in the fourth minute as Accam's run down the left saw him beat Melbourne for pace and pull the ball back into the path of McGrath, whose low driven shot from fifteen yards out was blocked by Liam Francis

The visitors responded through a surging run from Patterson in the seventh minute, taking the ball past former Hednesford triallist Jones and Jamie Hyde with a run from deep that culminated in the striker drilling a shot well wide of goal

Marvin Robinson's game ended before he had even got started as he pulled up holding his groin in the ninth minute, forcing the Pitmen into an early change as Wellecomme came on in his place up front 

Jones was involved at the other end in the tenth minute as the centre-back headed the hosts in front; McGrath's corner kick was cleared by the Pitmen's defence out to Mensah, who recycled the ball with a cross to the far post that was met by a flying header from the former Kidderminster Harriers man, who leapt highest to head past Dan Crane from six yards out; it was Jones's first goal for the club since joining the Robins in February

Jay Denny looked to get the Pitmen going with a thirty yard run on twelve minutes, taking the ball into the Evesham half before slipping it through to Robinson, only for the big striker to be pulled back for a tight offside call against him as he scuffed his shot into the sandy ground and wide of goal

Three minutes later, former Stafford Rangers hero Wayne Daniel denied Patterson a chance at goal as the veteran centre-back stepped across his penalty area to block the striker's shot at goal after good work from the in-form Chris Clements

Crane was alert to another Evesham set-piece on nineteen minutes as he turned Daniel's looping header over the crossbar after he had been allowed a free run at goal to meet Mensah's free-kick from eight yards out

The hosts doubled their advantage midway through the first half as Accam's skill saw him nutmeg Cheyenne Dunkley and play Hyde in behind the Hednesford defence down the left-wing. The left-back squared the ball to Shaze, who had the simple task of sidefooting past Crane from close-range

The Pitmen responded with a succession of corner kicks taken by Clements, with the third one in succession on twenty-five minutes finding the head of Dunkley, only for the youngster to head into the sizeable away support behind the goal from just outside the six-yard box

Two minutes later, the visitors dragged themselves back into the game as Patterson picked up a throw from Melbourne inside the Evesham penalty area, controlling it well and clipping it over the head of Jones before lashing the ball into the top far corner of the net from a tight angle. A superb strike from the Pitmen's top scorer and one that gave them belief once more

Clements stung the palms of Evesham stopper Nathan Vaughan on the half-hour mark as a typically powerful long-range effort from the former Crewe Alexandra man was well held by the former Willenhall goalkeeper as Patterson looked to pick up any scraps

Another former Stafford Rangers man - Craig Wilding - played a neat one-two with the tricky Accam three minutes later, taking the ball into the penalty area down the left before trying his luck from a tight angle that Crane pushed away at his near post

On thirty-seven minutes, Melbourne and Haynes linked up well down the right flank for the visitors, with Melbourne's deep cross headed back across goal by Wellecomme but a little too far in front of the incoming Patterson and Daniel was able to clear the danger

Four minutes before the break, Wilding made another fine run into the Hednesford penalty area to latch onto a fine pass from James Blake, turning the ball into the net past the onrushing Crane from twelve yards out but saw the goal ruled out by referee Mr Hollidge for offside

Any Hednesford fans walking past the dressing room block at half-time heard every word of Smith's lambasting of the team as the away dressing room had left the window ajar, meaning Smith's foul-mouthed tirade was there for all to hear

The visitors emerged in a determined mood at the start of the second half, keen to grab an early equaliser and push on in search of three crucial points. Leaders Salisbury City were losing at Oxford City, but second-placed Truro were 3-1 up at home to Swindon Supermarine so a win was key to staying in touch with the two teams above them. Denny picked up an early booking in the fiftieth minute for an overly-aggressive tackle on McGrath in midfield that had West and his bench up in arms over the challenge

Neat play from Patterson three minutes later saw the striker chest the ball down from a long Decio Gomes pass, laying the ball off the hard-working Wellecomme just outside the penalty area. The lanky striker took the ball into the box but scuffed his shot wide as he kicked up more sand than ball to fire well wide of goal

Evesham remained a threat on the counter-attack, with the diminutive Accam leaving Haynes in his wake with a fine run down the left on fifty-six minutes, cutting inside on the corner of the penalty area but firing wide as Dunkley closed him down

On the hour mark, Mensah was shown a yellow card by Mr Hollidge as he blatantly prevented Clements from taking a quick free-kick thirty yards from goal

Two minutes later, Wellecomme flicked on a long ball forwards from Clements into the path of Patterson, who was denied a clear shot at goal by an offside flag on the main stand side. The striker felt that he had held his run and let the assistant know what he thought of the decision

With the sun in his eyes, Crane flapped at a corner kick from McGrath on sixty-five minutes and allowed the ball to find the head of Daniel once more, only for the defender to head narrowly over the crossbar from eight yards out

Darren Campion - having a muted game in relation to his recent performances - was the latest player to be booked two minutes later as he brought Mensah down and then remonstrated with the referee about the decision, earning him a yellow card for his efforts

Gomes headed a Clements free-kick down into the Evesham six-yard box on seventy minutes after coming around the back of the pack in the penalty area to meet the cross, but Jones created quickest to hack the ball away from Patterson before the Hednesford goalscorer could turn the ball home

Sixty seconds later, Accam linked up with Shaze with a quick-one two to play the ball around Francis, only for Shaze to pull his effort wide of goal as Dunkley did well to jockey him away from goal and narrow the angle

The Pitmen made their second substitution of the game on seventy-four minutes as on-loan James Ellison came on up front as he replaced Melbourne; this saw the visitors move to a 4-3-3 formation as they continued to search for an equaliser

A great run from Haynes a minute later saw the right wing-back pull the ball back from the byeline and crossed for Wellecomme, who was denied a header at goal by former team-mate Daniel at the far post as the pair tangled. Wellecomme looked to hold off the defender's attention as he picked the loose ball up, but was mysteriously penalised for a foul on Daniel when it appeared that the defender had more of Wellecomme's shirt than Wellecomme had of Daniel

This was to prove a turning point, as the 'hosts' added to their tally on seventy-six minutes; McGrath - signed this week from local rivals Halesowen Town - picked the ball up in midfield and played the ball through to Accam, who showed superb feet to dance past Haynes on the edge of the penalty area, taking the ball around the despairing dive of Crane before slotting the ball into the empty net

3-1 almost became 4-1 on eighty minutes as Wilding headed just wide of the far post after McGrath's free-kick had found the striker unmarked at the far post

Clements joined Campion and Denny in the book two minutes later as his mistimed challenge on a rampant Mensah was pulled back by Mr Hollidge, who showed the midfielder a yellow card

Jones denied Wellecomme with a fine challenge on eighty-five minutes, getting a toe to the ball to turn it away from the striker after Campion had played it through to him on the edge of the Evesham penalty area

Vaughan was the final player to receive a caution with three minutes remaining as he was rightly booked by Mr Hollidge for taking far too long to take a goal kick as he looked to run the clock down and deny the Pitmen any late momentum

With the Pitmen now committing more and more players forwards in search of a possible route back into the game, Evesham took full advantage of this with a killer fourth goal on the counter-attack on eighty-nine minutes; a long, searching ball forwards from Blake caught the Hednesford defence square and allowed substitute Palmer to run clear, taking the ball past the advancing Crane before slotting into the empty net with a measured finish

The Pitmen could offer nothing in return as the Robins saw out injury time with ease to record their first win in four games. Three points dropped for the Pitmen, coupled with Truro thumping Swindon 7-2 and Salisbury drawing 2-2 at Oxford, leaves the Cornish side in the driving seat with only four games remaining. The Pitmen we'll look to pick themselves up and get back to winning ways next weekend when they entertain struggling Bedford Town - another side in need of three points as they sit only a few points above the drop zone

Evesham United: Vaughan , Watson, Hyde (Clarke 45), Daniel, Jones, Blake, McGrath, Mensah , Wilding (Palmer 79), Shaze, Accam       Subs Unused: Adey, Dinsley, Spencer

Hednesford Town: Crane, Gomes, Campion , Dunkley, Francis ©, Denny , Melbourne (Ellison 74), Patterson, Robinson (Wellecomme 9), Clements , Haynes       Subs Unused: Bailey, Keenan

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