Second Half Trio Sinks Robins
Didcot Town 3-0 Evesham United
Didcot kept themselves in the thick of the promotion race with a 3-0 win over fellow play-off rivals Evesham United on Saturday. Owing to injuries and suspensions, the Railwaymen only had 14 fit players for this match and many of them were forced to operate out of their optimal position. It is fair to say that the hosts were thankful that the Robins had left their shooting boots at home as on another day the scoreline could easily have been reversed, but Diddy deserve every credit for producing such a battling performance.
The threadbare nature of Diddy’s starting lineup was such that Andy Ballard had to recall himself as an emergency centre half and when a cumbersome challenge earned the Didcot manager a booking inside the first forty seconds of the game, supporters feared the worst. Archie Haskayne shot narrowly over from that opportunity and home keeper Leigh Bedwell was soon pressed into action, denying both Andy Lewis and Carl Brown as the visitors endeavoured to capitalise on their promising start.
The Railwaymen were showing enough of an attacking threat to prevent their backline from suffering continual bombardment, with both Sam Elkins and Felipe Barcelos going close. However, Bedwell was still much the busier of the keepers, saving from Will Wellon, Adam Mann and substitute Jordan Bryan. A goalmouth melee towards the end of the half saw the ball scrambled off the line with Evesham players hoping for a handball decision, but Didcot did manage to maintain parity come the half time interval.
There are often cliches spouted about when is a good time to score, but 23 seconds into the second half when you have been outplayed in the first would be high up anyone’s list. Lewis Hayden’s throughball sent Barcelos into acres of space and the Diddy number nine took full toll, burying his strike into the bottom corner.
Evesham were understandably rocked back and it was not long before the advantage doubled. George Jeacock was not marked properly and his flicked header from Marlon Agyakwa’s corner was placed to perfection.
Cameron McNeill hacked another goalbound effort off the line and Bedwell denied Joe Turley as the Robins could not find the first goal to launch a fightback. Indeed, insult was added to injury when Ollie Thomas smashed a twenty-five yard strike into the top corner as the contest ticked to its conclusion, thus enabling the Oxfordshire side to run out three goal winners.
The result meant that Didcot climbed to fourth place in the league ahead of next Saturday’s trip to Yate Town. However, the Berks and Bucks Senior cup is next on the agenda and a quarter-final home clash with Southern Premier opponents Chesham United on Tuesday night.
Didcot: Bedwell; Elkins; Woodley; Hayden; Ballard; McNeill; Jeacock; Thomas; Barcelos (Pin 88); Murphy (McNish 68); Agyakwa (Williams 78).