TABLE-TOPPING Coventry United proved too strong for Pershore Town as the visitors secured a 5-1 victory at the 2020SolarPV Stadium on Tuesday.
However, United, who have now won 17 of their 18 league matches this season, were flattered by the margin of their win against Pershore, who drew 2-2 at home to Cadbury Athletic on Saturday.
Pershore were reduced to ten men after 23 minutes when Dane Aldington received a red card for a foul in the penalty area.
James Cutts saved the resulting penalty but, within a minute, the visitors took the lead through Richard Blythe and Coventry scored again after 33 minutes through Matthew Brown.
However, Town pulled a goal back just before half time through Jake Donnelly who got on the end of a cross from Danny Carter to convert from close range.
There was little to choose between the teams in the first half and it was against the run of play in the second when Coventry scored their third goal with a left-footed strike from Joshua O’Grady from the edge of the box midway through the half.
Prior to that Jacob Snape, Carter and Donnelly had shots well saved by Coventry’s keeper as the hosts took the game to Coventry.
Town substitute Joe Bates also had a glancing header pushed wide but, with the heavy pitch and the numerical disadvantage beginning to take their toll, Town tired and conceded twice more in the last ten minutes as substitutes Joshua Blake and Chris Cox scored.
Despite the scoreline, however, this was a hardworking and spirited performance against a team who are destined for promotion.
Afterwards Town boss Quentin Townsend said: “I can take a lot of heart from the first 20 minutes. They are top of the league and we more than contained them and created the better chances.
“It was just a shame we had a player sent off and then playing with ten men on a really muddy pitch meant we were flagging after 65 minutes.
“Don’t get me wrong, Coventry were the better team, but the last couple of goals came as tiredness set in and the scoreline didn’t really reflect the game.”
ON SATURDAY Town drew 2-2 with visitors Cadbury Athletic in their first match of 2016.
In one of the few matches to beat the weather, both teams tried to play passing football on a wet surface.
Cadbury’s front two were both quick and strong, but were well contained by Town’s defence.
Cadbury’s Odane Barnes had the visitors’ best chance of the first half when his shot hit the post whereas at the other end Town’s Danny Carter was unlucky not to score having rounded the keeper, but a defender cleared his effort off the line.
The match was goalless at half time but in the first ten minutes of the second half there were four goals.
A heavy rainstorm throughout the half time break made the conditions more difficult and Town opened the scoring when Danny Ludlow was put through and his touch created space and he rifled a right-footed shot past the keeper.
Five minutes later the visitors equalised with a controversial goal when one of Town’s defenders was fouled on the edge of the box but Cadbury’s Sam Griffin was allowed to play on and slotted the ball into the net.
In the 55th minute Ludlow was again involved when he squared a pass to debutant Oliver Casey – the son of former Kidderminster Harriers goalscoring legend Kim – and he side-footed into the corner from just inside the box.
Cadbury’s second equaliser only two minutes later followed a goalmouth scramble when the ball eventually slipped out of the keeper’s grasp and was poked home from close range by Jak Walton.
Pershore visit Studley on Saturday.