Shipston Excelsior throw away two-goal lead as Pershore Town Development battle back to secure league double
Shipston Excelsior 2-5 Pershore Town Development
Hellenic League, Division Two West
SHIPSTON Excelsior let slip a two-goal lead as Ewan Carter’s hat-trick inspired league leaders Pershore Town Development to a 5-2 victory at London Road.
Excelsior broke the deadlock in the 25th minute when Dale Simpson’s corner was emphatically headed home by Edward Caswell. Three minutes later the home side doubled their lead from the penalty spot, with Patrick Fetherston confidently finding the bottom corner to put Excelsior in control.
Six minutes before the break the visitors halved the deficit as Carter’s curling effort deflected off Joe Godson and flew past the wrong-footed Harrison Foster. Just two minutes later the Plums were back on level terms, with Joseph Peachey turning in Bradley Upton’s cross at the near post.
The second half had barely begun when Pershore nosed themselves ahead after Carter drilled an effort back across goal and into the bottom left-hand corner. Pershore added their fourth in the 55th minute in similar fashion to their first, with Carter’s effort deflecting off Godson en route to finding the back of the net.
Upton then scored a fine 25-yard effort five minutes later to complete the afternoon’s scoring and secure a league double for Pershore over Excelsior in the space of seven days.
The Plums had come out on top in the reverse fixture, running out 3-0 winners, and Excelsior were keen to exact revenge. From the off the home side looked more comfortable on the ball but they could not find that killer instinct in the final third.
But midway through the first half Excelsior got their just rewards. Pershore goalkeeper Scott Loader sliced a clearance which went behind for a corner and the resulting set-piece from Simpson was met by Caswell who ran onto the ball like a freight train and thumped home with a bullet header.
Three minutes later Excelsior were awarded a penalty as the hard-working Fetherston was tripped inside the area and the striker took the spot-kick himself, sending Loader the wrong way to make it 2-0.
A shell-shocked Pershore responded and it needed two smart saves from Foster to firstly deny the marauding Josh Simmonds and then Carter from close range. Carter, though, would not be denied and in the 39th minute he offered Pershore a route back into the game with a curling effort that came off Godson and left Foster rooted to his spot.
Two minutes later parity was restored. A quick throw-in allowed Upton to break free down the left and his low cross was finished smartly at the near post by Peachey. The league leaders smelt blood but fortunately for Excelsior the half-time whistle came to their rescue.
Unfortunately, though, the respite was short-lived as within a minute of the restart the visitors had their third goal with Carter’s smart finish back across goal nestling into the bottom corner.
Pershore carried on their onslaught of the Excelsior goal and in the 55th minute they made it 4-2 with another deflected goal. Once again it was Carter taking aim and again his effort came off Godson, with Foster, who was going in the opposite direction, standing no chance of keeping the ball out.
To Excelsior’s credit they kept plugging away and just before the hour mark they were awarded free-kick on the edge of Pershore’s penalty area but William Gorski’s effort was comfortably saved by Loader.
Immediately up the other end the visitors put the game to bed. Upton carried the ball forwards and with no challenge forthcoming, he unleashed a powerful 25-yard drive that gave Foster no chance.
Godson, keen to make amends for his part in two of Pershore’s five goals, came close to pulling a goal back in the 67th minute but he could only volley wide from Nicholas Walker’s deep free-kick. Four minutes later Godson came even closer to making it 5-3 with his looping header from Jake Bradley’s corner cannoning off the crossbar and away from danger.
Pershore saw out the remaining 20 minutes to get the better of Excelsior for the second successive weekend to cement their position at the top of the table. Meanwhile, Excelsior sit tenth in table with two wins from their ten games played.