EVESHAM United are still chasing their first pre-season victory having been held to a 1-1 draw by Midland Football League Division One outfit Littleton at the Jubilee Stadium on Tuesday.
In a hard fought game the visitors also missed a penalty as Evesham were given a thorough workout ahead of the start of the Southern League Division One South & West season at home to Yate Town on August 8.
United skipper Matt Sysum got on the scoresheet in the 75th minute before substitute Liam Scrivens deservedly levelled for Andy Robbins’ side two minutes from time.
Littleton started the stronger but spurned a golden opportunity to take the lead after just six minutes. Nick Stanley clipped the heels of Evesham old boy Daniel Holloway in the box and Kevin Sawyer guessed the right way to push aside Callum Clarke’s resulting spot kick.
Lance Smith should have done better for the hosts but, after wriggling his way clear, shot tamely at Haydn Whitcombe with only the Littleton stopper in his sights.
Evesham then enjoyed a decent spell which resulted in Lee Smith and Ashley Edenborough both going close and Jared Wilson thumping a shot against a post after neat work down the left by Lance Smith.
Just beyond the half-hour mark, the impressive Linden Dovey came to United’s rescue with an acrobatic goalline clearance to prevent Kyonn Evans from giving Littleton a shock lead.
Whitcombe made routine saves from Kevin Slack and Ashley Williams early in the second half, while Sawyer did likewise to safely gather from Sean Cooke and Clarke.
In a bid to freshen things up, United boss Paul Collicutt introduced five substitutes around the hour mark and, following a Williams header that flew just over, the Red and Whites finally made the breakthrough on 75 minutes.
United won a corner on the left and from Sean Wood’s flag kick Sysum headed past the stranded Whitcombe via a deflection.
To their credit, lower graded Littleton never gave up and were rewarded for their evening’s work when Scrivens fired past Sawyer to level an even contest at 1-1 with two minutes to go.
EVESHAM were on the end of a hat-trick from Kidderminster Harriers striker Gurjit Singh in his side’s 6-0 win in the Worcestershire Senior Cup third/fourth place play-off on Saturday.
Singh got the ball rolling for a youthful Harriers side as early as the first minute by capitalising on hesitancy in the United defence and slotting home after rounding Robins reserve team keeper Josh Goddard.
Evesham responded when George Washbourne forced Harriers stopper Alex Palmer to make a fine save, touching over the winger’s powerful drive.
Back came Harriers and Goddard denied Singh with a splendid point-blank save but he was beaten for a second time in the 32nd minute by another excellent finish from Singh.
The best goal of the game arrived for Harriers on 38 minutes through Ben O’Hanlon’s rasping drive from outside the box which beat youngster Goddard all ends up.
The first half scoring was completed two minutes before the break when Dan Sweeney’s close range finish handed the full-timers a 4-0 interval lead.
Goddard prevented former Birmingham City forward Reece Hales from finding the net early in the second half with a fine reflex save but he was picking the ball out of the net for a fifth time on the hour mark when his attempted clearance struck Singh and finished up in the back of the net.
Nine minutes later O’Hanlon got his second and Harriers’ sixth by sweeping home into the bottom corner past the diving Goddard.
Despite being outplayed, United never gave up and Carl Brown showed neat skills before having his shot saved, before Palmer made a good block to deny Edenborough a late consolation when the United striker looked certain to score.
THE ROBINS host Hamworthy United on Saturday (3pm) and Westfields on Tuesday (7.45pm) in their remaining friendlies.