Kidsgrove Athletic progressed to the 2nd qualifying round of the Buildbase FA Trophy with a scintillating performance against Evesham United as they ran out 4-1 winners.
They were helped to victory by the returning John Johnston (from Chester) who bagged two assists and scored from the penalty spot to cap a fine performance.
He got his first assist of the afternoon after just five minutes when his free-kick was met by captain Anthony Malbon who headed home his first Kidsgrove goal of the season.
It was an excellent first half for Kidsgrove with them enjoying so much play in the final third. However, they were pegged back on 22 minutes when Callum Ebanks scored a stunning goal. He picked up the ball in the Evesham half before running at the Kidsgrove defence. He then unleashed a powerful shot past Kieran Harrison, it left the Grove goalkeeper with no chance of saving it.
The two teams went into the break level pegging but, the Grove started the second half strongly and retook the lead shortly after the restart when Ryan Paddock handled in the area and the referee Tim Swift swiftly pointed to the spot. Johnston stepped up and despite the goalkeeper, Josh Rogers going the right way he couldn’t keep it out.
It was the spark Kidsgrove needed as they certainly stepped up another gear in the second half as they got a third on 55 minutes when Johnston spread the ball out to Will Whieldon, whose excellent cross found substitute Kieran Brown who headed home for 3-1.
Brown is the Grove’s top scorer so far this season and, he got his 7th of the season as Johnston’s perfect cross found Brown who dived in to head in the final goal of the game on 60 minutes.
However, the drama wasn’t over as the referee pulled up with a calf injury meaning he had to be replaced by the Assistant Referee and a replacement official was found from the crowd to run the line for the last 10 minutes or so.
Despite the late change, Kidsgrove were able to hold on and book their place in Monday’s draw. The next round of the competition will take place on Saturday 30th October.
Kidsgrove Athletic: Harrison, Byers (Adu-Gyamfi, 66), Morris, Bromfield, Bergin, C.Lovatt, Whieldon, Blake, J.Lovatt, Malbon (Brown, 46) and Johnston (Stubbs, 82).
Unused subs: Diskin and Twyford.
Evesham United: Rogers, Staton, Place, Williams (Hunt, 62), Paddock, Sheehan, Hayes (Miles, 84), Disley, Symons (Johnson, 84), Ebanks and Lymn.
Unused subs: Morrell.