Thursday, 3 March 2011

Evesham United 2 Stourbridge 3

Evesham’s manager Paul West will look back on this game and wonder where his team were in the first half. With a litany of defensive errors and an absence of attacking competence by the Robins, the game looked to be a decidedly one sided affair.

A passage of smart interplay carved the Evesham backline apart and Zac Costello’s clumsy lunge left the referee with little option but to point to the spot. Linden Dovey dusted himself down and calmly sent the keeper the wrong way.

Evesham were restricted to hopeful long-balls and Stourbridge’s goal was rarely threatened. Stourbridge were playing with purpose and occasional style, however it was a long ball from the Glassboys which led to their inevitable second goal, scored by Ryan Rowe.

Evesham were poor and made two changes on 37 minutes, and a third at a half time where Stourbridge looked good value for their 2 goal lead. The introduction of Evesham’s Ghanaian trio produced a very different second period, and David Accam pulled a goal back almost immediately.

The Robins pushed for an equaliser, but their lacklustre defence allowed an unmarked Nathan Bennett to head home at the back-post, against the run of play.

Evesham continued to press, but it took until the 86th minute for Accam to add his second goal, teed up by a mishit shot by Shaze which wrong footed the keeper. In the 5 minutes of injury time, Evesham could, perhaps should, have levelled this game but Lewis Solly would not be beaten again.

After the final whistle, Sam Mensah’s offensive gesture to the ref earned him a straight red card, much to the delight of the vocal Stourbridge fans.

Paul West said after the game: “I’m disappointed with the result, with the penalty decision, with the sloppy goals and I’m very disappointed with Mensah’s sending off”. He added: “In the first half we were simply not good enough and defended poorly, we were making under 13’s errors. Rowe has been prolific for Stourbridge this year and we could not contain him”.

He said: “At half time I told the lads to stand up and make it difficult and that it was imperative that we got the next goal. All credit to them, they were much better in the second half”.

When pressed about the red card incident, he said: “I believe he gave the ref ‘the finger’, so he deserved his sending off. I can’t condone what he did, he’s young and a bit naive and I’d put it down to frustration. We will deal with this internally and he will be disciplined, I already have to make 6 or 7 changes a game and this has made my job harder”.

West paid tribute to Dean Richards, his best friend and former Bradford teammate who sadly passed away on Saturday following a long battle with illness. “We were very good friends and I spent his last week with him. I hope the world of football gives him the recognition that he deserves and my thoughts are with his wife and children”.

Vaughan, Costello (Shaze 37), Hyde, Daniel, Jones, Spencer (Mensah 37), Blake, Wilding, Palmer (Accam 45), Brown, Noubissie Subs not used: Skyers, Dinsley.

GOALS: Accam 48, 86.

Solly, Dovey, Oliver, McCone (Connor 41 (Cooper 57)), Smith, Bennett, Lloyd, Broadhurst, Rowe, Drake (Plinston 89), Craddock Sub not used: Slater.

GOALS: Dovey (pen) 13, Rowe 34, Bennett 62.

Robert Ellis

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