EVESHAM United’s hectic pre-season schedule continued as a mixture of youngsters and trialists were held to a 1-1 draw by neighbours Pershore Town.

After four warm-up games in seven days, manager Paul Collicutt rested key players for the clash at the Winstanley and Co King George V Playing Fields Stadium, enabling a number to stake their claim for a place in United’s league opener at Fleet Town on August 9.

On a decent surface, the Robins made a bright start with Lance Smith and Ben Evans both testing goalkeeper Paul Maynard. Then the experienced Kevin Slack somehow blazed wide of an open goal after being set up by Elliot Kennedy.

Town striker Phil Marsh had a free-kick charged down at the other end before Smith fired the visitors ahead in the 33rd minute.

The versatile Aaron Drake found Slack down the left and, from the winger’s cross, Smith timed his arrival at the back post for a simple tap-in.

During the latter stages of the half, Slack was guilty of another glaring miss, this time after Maynard had saved well from Smith.

Despite Kennedy, Michael Tambling and skipper Matt Sysum all going close at the start of the second period, it was Pershore who found the net to draw level in the 55th minute.

Dane Aldington’s through-ball enabled Grant Baker to round reserve keeper Josh Goddard before rolling the ball into an empty net.

Moments later, Baker went close to adding a second for the hosts when his near-post header flew just over.

Smith then got himself into a couple of good positions but was foiled by the brave Maynard, who spread himself well on both occasions to keep the scores level.

Evesham finished strongly but couldn’t find a way past Maynard for a deserved winner.

Drake smacked a thunderous drive against the crossbar and, in stoppage-time, the Pershore keeper gathered confidently from Slack and held substitute Will Wellon’s glancing header.

Evesham: Goddard, Jackson, Drake, Harding (Sauntson 60), Sysum (Hughes 64), Dovey, Tambling (Baldwin 76), Evans (Wellon 51), Smith, Kennedy (Watts 67), Slack. Sub not used: Saunders.