EVESHAM United ended their hectic pre-season schedule with a hard fought 3-3 draw at home to Malvern Town on Tuesday.
It was the Robins’ ninth warm-up game ahead of Saturday’s Southern League Division One South & West opener at promoted Salisbury, managed by former Birmingham City and Leicester City striker Steve Claridge.
Malvern arrived at the Jubilee Stadium having finished third in the West Midlands League Premier Division last season and included former United striker Luke Corbett in their ranks.
The Hillsiders took the game to United from the off as Dave Reynolds and Alan Richards both put in decent efforts which were dealt with by Robins keeper Sam Gilder.
However, it was the home side who went ahead on 16 minutes through the impressive Sam Pearson with a deft finish after latching on to Joe Turley’s threaded through ball.
Corbett should have done better with only Gilder to beat before Pearson made it 2-0 with another excellent finish following good work by the speedy Paul Fahy.
Malvern continued to play some decent football and pulled a goal back through United defender Clayton Green who turned Reece King’s low cross into his own net on 27 minutes.
On the stroke of half time Corbett levelled the contest with a back post header from Reynolds’ deep cross from the right.
Play continued to switch from end to end during the early stages of the second half before Fahy was rewarded for another hardworking display when he coolly slid in United’s third after Lance Smith’s flick-on.
Back came Malvern and, after Fahy had struck a post, play switched to the opposite end as Matt Turner rode several challenges before beating the advancing Gilder to make it 3-3.
United finished the stronger without adding to the scoreline as Fahy was again unlucky with a shot which bobbled off the crossbar and Smith headed just wide from Lewis Binns’ left wing corner.
Paul Collicutt’s Evesham play their first home match of the season against Didcot Town on Tuesday.