Robins' new nest opens with United Legends tie

OUT IN FORCE: A 1,700-strong crowd were at Evesham United’s Spiers and Hartwell Jubilee Stadium on Saturday. 27081904. Pictures: NICK TOOGOOD

ALL-STAR LINE-UPS: Legends teams from Evesham United and Manchester United walk out for their clash as the Robins’ new home was officially opened. 27081902

HEADS I WIN: Evesham United Legends’ Brett Fleetwood (left) beats Manchester United Legends’ Lee Martin to a header in the latter side’s 4-1 win on Saturday. 27081909

ON THE SPOT: Manchester United’s Alan McLoughlin is brought down in the box with Clayton Blackmore on hand to score the resultant penalty. 27081910

First published in Sport

FOOTBALL returned to the Vale after an absence of six years when Evesham United All Stars faced Manchester United Legends to open the Spiers and Hartwell Jubliee Stadium.

Despite the wet weather, an enthusiastic crowd of around 1,700 witnessed the Legends romp to a 4-1 victory at the new Robins headquarters which was officially opened by Ron Atkinson before the game.

After cutting a red ribbon on the halfway line to announce the stadium open, the former Man Utd and Aston Villa boss praised the hard work that had been done to eventually move back into the town.

Atkinson wished the club every success for their 2012- 13 campaign in Evo-Stik Southern League Division One South and West.

A strong Legends side took a grip of the game by scoring twice in the opening 11 minutes.

Clayton Blackmore fired the Red Devils ahead, getting on the end of Sammy McIlroy’s cross.

Then Andy Ritchie followed up to score after keeper Dave Adey failed to hold Lee Martin’s low drive.

A mistake at the back by David May allowed Matt Coppin to pull one back for the Evesham Old Stars but the Legends restored their two-goal advantage soon after.

Adey upended Alan Mc- Loughlin in the area and Blackmore coolly scored from the penalty spot.

The scoring was completed before half-time with Deiniol Graham beating Adey from close range.

Evesham’s best chance of the half saw the unmarked Simon Brain head wide from a Tim Davies cross.

The second period was a more even affair with chances at both ends.

Former England international Peter Davenport, Russell Beardsmore and Ritchie all should have found the target for the Legends during the second-half.

Ex-Evesham manager Paul West squandered the Old Stars’ best chance in the last minute, stroking the ball wide with only keeper Fraser Digby to beat.

UNITED LINE-UPS

Man Utd Legends: Digby, Irwin, Albiston, May, Duxbury, Martin, McLoughlin, McIlroy, Ritchie, Blackmore, Davenport. Subs: Thornely, Beardsmore, Graham.

Evesham Utd Old Stars: Adey, Smith, Stevens, Cotterill, Brown, Hall, Emms, Russell, Candy, Brain, Coppin. Subs: Wright, Taylor, Campbell, Fleetwood, Saunders, Whittington, Davies, Hands, West, Clarke, O’Neill.

Referee: Brian Durie (Tewkesbury).

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