Evesham United 1 Leamington 2
Evostik League Southern Premier Division
St Georges Lane, Worcester
Tuesday 15th November 2011
Away fixtures against Evesham United have nearly always been cagey affairs in the past few years, with few goals and little between the two sides, but this one broke the mould slightly. It was always going to be an interesting evening, with former Brakes striker Ben Mackey making his home debut for the Robins having signed after a short spell at Stratford Town with many of his old Leamington team mates.
Brakes signalled their intent almost from the kick off. Inside the opening minute a smart one touch passing move carved through the Evesham back line and presented David Kolodynski with a chance. He had a bit to do inside the penalty area on the right, but expertly juggled the ball into position and smashed a shot towards the top right hand corner that David Bevan was forced to push behind. Kolodynski was played through by Jacob Blyth on 9 minutes and forced the Evesham keeper into another save with a first time shot that was gathered at the second attempt.
Leamington notched a third clear cut effort on goal when Stephan Morley cut into the area after being played in by Husband, and with the midfielder screaming for the return pass, Morley instead opted to clip the ball back to the edge of the box, where Michael Tuohy met it with a stunning first time volley which stung the palms of an alert David Bevan. However, moments later Brakes found themselves behind. The standard of officiating over the 90 minutes left a little to be desired, with decisions heavily favouring the home side, some leaving players from both sides looking bemused. Evesham were awarded a penalty after what appeared to be a harmless 50-50 challenge just inside the area. Marcus Palmer went to ground, which set up the inevitable. Ben Mackey stepped up and scored, despite Lee Evans guessing the right way and coming desperately close to keeping it out. To his credit Mackey did not celebrate the goal, despite it being his first for his new club.
Evesham looked lively themselves when going forward, and from one of a host of free kicks they were awarded during the evening Simon Fitter found Evans equal to his curling effort. Leamington pushed forward again, and some good work from Kolodynski saw him pick out
Richard Batchelor inside the area, who cut the ball back for Jacob Blyth to strike, but Bevan gathered at the second attempt. The home side were the width of a post from doubling their advantage when the ball cannoning back off the upright, Lee Evans holding the second attempt. They were left to rue that missed opportunity, as Leamington were level in their next attack. Some fine work by James Mace on the right saw him find David Kolodynski in space at the far post, and with one touch and a smart shot the ball flashed past Bevan into the net.
Morley played a free kick into the area after James Husband had been clattered on the touch line, Jacob Blyth heading just wide, and Kolodynski appeared to be given a helping hand away from the ball as he attempted to latch on to Blyth’s knock down in the penalty area. Lee Downes was booked after a strange looking challenge in the centre circle, something that would come back to haunt him later in the game.
Brakes made a bright start to the second half and deservedly took the lead nine minutes in. James Husband found space down the left, and when his first cross was blocked back to him he drove the ball low into the box, finding James Mace, who rammed home a shot to notch his first goal for the club. Driving forward again, Kolodynski whipped a wicked ball across goal, but with nobody to connect it was picked up by Husband on the left, who drove in a shot that was saved by Bevan. The yellow card count was evened up, but not for too long, as Lee Downes picked up a second booking to leave his side a man light for the last 20 minutes or so, not that you would have noticed, as his team mates did their skipper proud by continuing to push forward in search of a goal which would have made life more comfortable, and defending manfully when required. Jacob Blyth received a booking, probably more out of frustration than anything else after simply attempting to win the ball in an aerial challenge. He did well to make space for a shot on the edge of the area which was saved by Bevan.
Another former Brakes player, Craig Wilding, blasted a shot inches over the bar after a neat exchange of passes on the edge of the area. Lee Evans probably ensured the points for his side when he bravely came off his line to block a shot after a slip had left Evesham one on one on the left side of the penalty area. He also fielded a looping overhead effort from Gary Walker as Evesham pushed in vain for the equaliser.
This was an important 3 points on the back of a gutsy, battling performance by Leamington, and will see them travel to Buckinghamshire in good spirits to take on a Chesham United side who are currently undefeated at home.
Evesham United: David Bevan, James Blake, Jamie Hyde, Wayne Daniel, Melvin Gourlay, Craig Wilding, Simon Fitter, Gary Walker, Marcus Palmer, Ben Mackey, Lewis Poutney.
Subs not used: 12 Josh Quaynor, 14 Ryan Keen, 15 Craig Connor, 16 Kevin Vogeli, 17 Panene Casimir.
Leamington: Lee Evans, James Mace, Stephan Morley, Lee Downes © , Jamie Hood, Asa Charlton, Michael Tuohy, James Husband (16 Craig Owen, 71), Jacob Blyth (12 Tom Berwick, 87), David Kolodynski (15 Alex Taylor, 80), Richard Batchelor.
Subs not used: 14 Sam Adkins, 17 Jamie Sheldon.
Referee: Mr David Ricketts