By Liam Moakes 21/02 Updated: 28/02 11:37
Pershore 3rds 2 Evesham 3rds 2
3rd Team League West Midlands Division Two
AN INTRIGUING local derby unfolded at Prince Henry's High School on Saturday as Pershore's more mature side shared the spoils with an Evesham outfit featuring both older and younger players.
During the first 20 minutes Evesham looked the more sluggish, struggling to control their passing and build momentum and inevitably this gave Pershore the opportunity to progress in attack.
The home side were solid in defence thanks to Phil Taylor, Andy Gardiner and Pete Moreby and distributed the ball well through the midfield trio of Toby Whiting, Gavin Pugh and Paul Grummitt, thus allowing them to create chances for their forwards.
Evesham defender Roger Hemming rallied well on several occasions but his fellow defenders were outshone by Pershore's Grummitt who, having created problems with his attacking skills, was eventually rewarded with a goal.
The last ten minutes of the half saw a slight improvement in the visitors' performance as they started to distribute the ball more confidently.
Andy Osborne narrowly missed the target on one occasion but, despite a couple of other Evesham attacks, Pershore still looked the more composed and headed into the break with a narrow lead.
Whereas Pershore had looked the better side during the first half, the second half produced a reversal of fortunes as Evesham looked the more confident and composed.
Passes were constructed with more accuracy with Hemming and Padfield working hard to develop attacks. With more urgency now attached to their game, Evesham were able to finally penetrate the Pershore defence and the equaliser deservedly came through John Grumball who scored from the left high into the top right corner.
However, against the run of play Pershore managed to break and force a penalty corner which was duly converted by Whiting to restore their lead.
Evesham rallied with Padfield and Matt Grumball taking control of midfield and forcing attacks down the right. Continued pressure on the Pershore defence led to a couple of unconverted penalty corners, but it was finally a goalmouth scramble that allowed John Grumball to net from close quarters to level the score again.
A couple of late attacks from Pershore forced Evesham keeper Osborne to make some good saves, whilst at the other end Evesham created scoring opportunities that narrowly missed the target.
Tomorrow Evesham host Droitwich and Pershore visit Aldridge & Walsall.
See this week's Observer for more hockey reports.
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