EVESHAM United won an eight-goal thriller against neighbours Littleton in their penultimate pre-season friendly at the Jubilee Stadium on Tuesday.
The 5-3 win over the Midland Football League Division One visitors was excellent entertainment for the crowd of 205, who saw United fall behind early on but hit back to score five times as impressive new striker Ashley Edenborough led the way with two more warm-up goals.
Former Evesham player Simon Fitter stunned the home crowd by firing Littleton ahead on just two minutes with a low free kick that nestled in the corner of the net.
The lead was shortlived as Ben Evans and Edenborough combined to present Lance Smith with a simple tap-in six minutes later.
Evesham went on to dominate the rest of the half as Edenborough and Evans both went close and Littleton keeper Haydn Whitcombe saved under pressure from Sean Wood and Marcus Jackson.
Whitcombe was beaten for a second time, however, in the 35th minute when Edenborough burst into the box before finding the net with a trademark finish.
Evans then rattled Whitcombe’s crossbar as Evesham finished the opening period on top.
Within seconds of the restart United looked to be heading for a comfortable win when Jack Watts – with his first touch after coming on at half time – extended the lead to 3-1 with a terrific first-time shot that gave Whitcombe no chance.
Further substitutions then seemed to disrupt United’s dominance and Littleton took full advantage to level the contest at 3-3. Kyonn Evans arrived at the back post to head past reserve keeper Josh Goddard and on 70 minutes the unmarked Robbie Bunn beat Goddard from 15 yards.
The final quarter of an hour belonged to the Robins who scored twice to complete victory. Whitcombe failed to hold Edenborough’s drive and the alert Watts was on hand to prod home the loose ball to make it 4-3.
Fitter then cleared off the line from Elliot Kennedy before the lively Watts was fouled by Steve Edghill in the box and Edenborough stepped up to send Whitcombe the wrong way with a coolly taken spot kick to complete the scoring.
CONFERENCE North neighbours Worcester City fielded a strong line-up and earned a 1-0 victory at Evesham United’s Jubilee Stadium in last Friday evening’s friendly.
A second half goal by George Williams was all that separated the sides in an evenly matched encounter.
The winner arrived when Williams headed home Danny Jackman’s 65th minute corner after Robins keeper Kevin Sawyer had moments earlier superbly saved from the former Kidderminster Harriers midfielder.
Worcester paraded a strong line-up and started with ex-Evesham stopper Nathan Vaughan between the sticks and it was Vaughan who was called into action first, saving at his near post from Edenborough.
City’s Tristan Dunkley, who caused problems with his pace all evening, shot across the face of goal as Carl Heeley’s side responded and the same player screwed his shot wide after a neat build-up with Mike Symons down the left.
Sawyer then held Symons’ flicked header beneath his crossbar as City kept the pressure on the home side.
The woodwork then denied Wayne Thomas when his well struck free kick was brilliantly touched on to the bar and behind by the diving Sawyer for a fruitless corner.
Evesham went up the other end and had penalty appeals waved aside leading up to the interval when Wood appeared to be upended in the box after racing on to Kennedy’s threaded pass down the middle.
United upped the tempo after half time but it was City who went on to score the only goal of the game 20 minutes into the second half when the Evesham defence failed to pick up Williams who glanced home Jackman’s flag kick.
Another header – this time from Nick Wright – went close to increasing City’s lead, as did strikes by substitutes David McDermott and Aaron Williams in quick succession.
United, however, had their moments in the closing stages when Vaughan’s replacement Jose Veiga pushed aside Aaron Drake’s volley and then Kevin Slack blazed wildly over after Smith had sprung City’s offside trap.