Evesham go top with late winner despite Edge heroics

Evesham United moved to the top of the Southern League Division One South after Linden Dovey’s late winner against Slimbridge at Thornhill Park.

Despite bombarding the Swans’ goal throughout the second half, Dovey’s strike was the only goal of the night in what was turning into a stressful night for the Robins.

Slimbridge keeper Eric Edge made a string of unbelievable saves to keep Evesham at bay before Dovey’s unstoppable effort finally broke the Swans’ resistance.

Former Slimbridge winger Marley Thomas tested Edge inside the first ten minutes, when he volleyed Steve Davies’ cross towards goal.

Slimbridge’s Edji Mbunga then went close as the hosts began to build some momentum in the game. He span his man on the half way line, charged towards goal before flashing a left footed effort past Harvey Rivers’ left hand post.

Just minutes later Eric Edge pulled off the first of his world class stops. After Davies once again got in down the right, his cross was headed towards the bottom corner by Joe Tumelty. Somehow Edge threw himself down to his right to keep the ball out with a strong hand.

Tumelty then hit the post after being slipped in on the right corner of the box, with an apparent deflection taking it onto the upright.

Mbunga hit the post in similar fashion after playing a one two with Dean Turner down the Slimbridge right.

But Evesham kept at the task in hand and looked the most likely to break the deadlock as the half time interval approached.

Into the second half and after Marley Thomas’ cross was half cleared, Joe Tumelty thundered an effort that was heading for the roof of the net from about 10 yards. Edge threw a glove up above his head to claw the ball over the bar with a spectacular stop.

Thomas then went close to the goal against his former club as a cross fell to him no more than 12 yards out. Under pressure the winger could only sky his effort.

As Slimbridge struggled to keep possession for long periods they managed to carve out two opportunities, with Sam Mendes and Dean Turner both dragging shots wide.

Then for the first time in a long while Evesham United keeper Harvey Rivers was called into action. After a rare Will Tunnicliff error was leapt on by Will Hawes, Rivers spread himself and stood tall before getting down low to save the forward’s effort.

Evesham began to push bodies forward in their search for what felt like a likely winner, but before they found it there was still a chance for Edge to frustrate the visitors once again.

After a deep corner was headed back across goal it was volleyed towards goal. Edge threw himself high to his left to get a big hand on the effort.

With just 11 minutes left on the clock an Evesham corner was cleared to Dovey who rifled an effort into the top corner from the edge of the box, leaving Edge no chance.

Thomas set up Haskayne who fired wide before Thomas cut in from the left only to be denied by Edge once again.

Slimbridge move onto Saturday’s game where they will be hosting Larkhall Athletic at Thornhill Park whilst Evesham United travel to AFC Totton as they go in search of their fifth league win of the season.

Slimbridge: Edge, Payne, Harper-Emerson, Pring, Turner, Hands (Smith 85′), Turner, Mendes (Bello 85′), Mbunga, Hawes, Dunbar

Subs Not Used: Noakes, Lomotey, Adams

Evesham United: Rivers, Hancock, Humphreys, Turley, Tunnicliff, Dovey, Tucker-Dixon (Ellington 58′), Haskayne, Davies (Brown 85′), Tumelty (Davidge 67′), Thomas

Subs Not Used: Brain, Wellon

Severn Sport Man Of The Match – Eric Edge (Slimbridge)