Stratford 5, Evesham 2

AFTER fighting to get back on level terms twice, Evesham produced a disappointing second half performance that leaves them in the bottom four.

"This was a poor display. We lost our shape, our pitch discipline and, most disappointingly of all, our character as the game went on," said deflated skipper Martin Husbands

Evesham once again showed early promise in attack with Stuart Bearcroft proving a handful along the right flank. Yet, the lack of pace further forward allowed too many potential attacks to be easily thwarted by the home defenders.

As the half went on the Warwickshire side gained control and pressed Evesham into their own half. Nick Lloyd's usually safe distribution deserted him as attacking options were limited and the midfield, dominant in recent games, were pressured into mistakes.

It was only a matter of time before the home side scored despite heroics from the dependable James Nicholas in goal, although Matt Baumber equalised from a short corner.

The visitors soon lost their shape and allowed their opponents too much time and space and they took their chance to lead 2-1 at half-time.

Despite a vigorous talk from Husbands, Evesham failed to organise themselves effectively enough and, although Mark Brown took advantage of sloppy defending to make it 2-2, Stratford remained in control.

Frustration saw Lloyd shown a yellow card while attempting to stop a Stratford attack while other players allowed indiscipline to take over.

A ten- minute period midway through the second half allowed the home side to score three soft goals and, although Evesham were denied a blatant penalty stroke when a Stratford player handled the ball, they will consider themselves fortunate not to have conceded more.

Evesham will be hoping to return to winning ways when they play host to Warwick at the High School on Saturday (1.30pm).