Reshuffled Rovers go back to the top of the table
MATCH REPORT: Paulton Rovers 3 Evesham United 1
Paulton Rovers eventually overcame a determined Evesham United outfit on Saturday to go back to the top of Calor League Southern Division 1 South & West.
With stalwart central defender Scott Brice at a wedding, youngster Joe Vyner out with a broken arm and Stuart Tovey injured, manager Nick Bunyard had to make a number of changes as well as give several of his available squad for fitness tests.
It was Rovers that had an early chance from a Brandon Barnes corner which was header over by defender Ollie Price.
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Lindon Dovey shot narrowly wide as United began to dominate whilst Marcus Jackson tested Kyle Phillips in the home goal with a shot from distance.
Phillips was in action several times cutting out crosses from the visitors neat attacking play.
Paulton missed a chance to go ahead after a dazzeling run from Ben Lacey played in James Billing whose first time was trickled wide.
Evesham had a glaring miss on 36 minutes when Mitchell Botfield out paced the Rovers defence and laid the ball to Dovey who blasted over from short range.
Shortly afterwards Billing was barged over in the box with loud appeals for a penalty turned down.
Three minutes before the half time break Barnes won a corner on the left which he took himself and his perfectly floated cross was headed home by Mike Perrott to give Rovers the lead against the run of play.
It was a different Paulton that came out from the dressing room with Billing, Perrott and Lacey all having good chances. Captain Dan Cleverley was dictating ther midfield and on 62 minutes his through ball to Jake Harris saw the Hereford United loanee strike the post with Barnes following up to make it 2-0.
Three minutes later Carl Brown headed home unmarked from a Tambling corner to reduce the defecit.
Lacey had his best spell of the match and Josh Klein-Davies on for Harris was proving a constant threat. He laid a neat ball to Perrott who blasted over the top and found Cleverley whose drive was just over the bar.
Perrott then hit the post with fifteen minutes left, neatly side steeping a challenge. From the rebound Billing cracked his volley wide.
Phillips pulled off the save of the match from Brown as the visitors pushed to level.
As Evesham threatened in the dying minutes Barnes long clearance was fastened onto by Klein-Davies who rounded the keeper to make it 3-1.
Man of the match Kyle Philips was presented with an award which was sponsored by Sainsbury's, Midsomer Norton, and donated by Paul Baker.
Paulton Rovers: Kyle Phillips, Dave Thompson, Mike Reaney, Marcus Mapstone, Ollie Price, Brandon Barnes, Mike Perrott, Ben Lacey, Dan Cleverley, James Billing, Jake Harris (Josh Klein-Davies 66). Subs not used: Nick McCootie, Josh Jeffries, Dean Evans.
Commentary on the match can be listened to again at
On Saturday Rovers have a revised home fixture against Stratford Town (3pm). The visitors were promoted last season as champions from the Midlands Alliance. On Tuesday, Rovers travel to Yate Town (7.45pm).