Evans hits five as Southam old boys come back to haunt Saints

Southam suffered a heavy defeat to a Studley side containing four former Saints, despite playing well for long periods.

Thursday, 1st December 2016, 12:41 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 12:31 pm
Southam United's Suki Nijjar unleashes a shot against Studley on Saturday. Picture: Morris Troughton

The game started well for the hosts in very bright sunshine but there was a portent of what was to come in the fifth minute. A Studley forward was adjudged to have beaten the offside trap but after rounding keeper Simon Reading and with the goal gaping, he could only manage to hit the post.

Two minutes later, with everyone in the ground except the linesman thinking he was clearly offside, Gareth Evans, who played for Saints briefly last season, ran on to a long ball and shot past Reading to give the away side the lead.

Not long after, Studley won a corner which was swung in by Dan Ludlow and Evans beat Reading to the ball to head in.

Despite these setbacks, Southam attacked with some purpose and came close to scoring in the 22nd minute following a corner of their own.

However, on the half-hour mark, another defensive lapse allowed Evans to complete his hat-trick.

This was further compounded in the 39th minute when a needlessly conceded free-kick was floated into the Saints box and another former player, Matty Ross, headed in unchallenged.

Studley scored their best goal of the game on the stroke of half-time when Evans beat his man on the right and curled an unstoppable shot around Reading.

Although the game was lost, Southam restored some pride after the break with a battling display and it took until the 73rd minute for Studley to add to their tally, Evans adding his fifth of the afternoon.

Josh Turton replied for Saints in the 83rd minute, shooting low and hard across the visiting keeper from the edge of the box following a slick Southam move.

The hosts almost doubled their tally in the closing stages but were denied in a goalmouth scramble.

Southam entertain Pelsall Villa on Saturday.