Evo-Stik Southern Premier.
Evesham United 2, Cirencester Town 3.
CIRENCESTER TOWN were deserved winners of an eventful game at Evesham United on Easter Monday in which the hosts were reduced to ten men soon after the break, while Town’s veteran striker Jody Bevan donned the goalkeeping jersey for the whole of the second half.
Town had been relegated after Saturday’s defeat at home to Bashley, but they took the game to fellow strugglers Evesham throughout.
Manager Brian Hughes chose an attacking formation playing with a back three of Jamie Dunn, Jamie Reid and Zak Westlake, with wing backs Aiden Bennett and Ellis Dunton having a licence to push forward from out wide. Young Paul Banks started alongside Scott Griffin up front.
Ciren deservedly went ahead on the half hour when Scott Griffin finished off a good move.
Eight minutes later, the visitors doubled their lead when Bennett scored with a simple header after Dunn, who had a commanding game, headed on a Wayne Turk free kick.
Ciren continued to dominate and Griffin was only denied by a fingertip save from Evesham keeper Daniel Platt.
The first half ended with Ciren still two up and a straightforward victory seemed to be in their grasp. However, Mike Hedges had sustained a hamstring injury and was replaced in goal by Bevan at the start of the second half.
Within eight minutes Evesham were back on terms thanks to two soft goals, but between the strikes they had Neil MacKenzie red-carded for violent conduct.
Ciren managed to steady the ship for the remainder of the game, totally dominating play and Bevan was given little to do.
On 60 minutes, Ciren were awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area and Turk scored with a low, slightly deflected shot.
Jon Else came on for Griffin in injury time and immediately won a penalty when scythed down just as he was about to shoot.
Else got up to take the penalty himself and struck it well, however, Platt guessed right and made a very good save to tip the ball around the post in the last action of the match.
Cirencester Town: Hedges (Bevan, 45), Bennett, Dunton, Reid, Davies, Dunn, Turk, Mortimer-Jones, Westlake, Griffin (Else, 90), Banks. Unused sub: Russell.