Match Report: Larkhall Athletic 2 vs Evesham United 2

Two goals in the last twelve minutes earned Evesham United a share of the spoils in an opening day 2-2 draw at Larkhall in the Evo-Stik Southern South, West Division. United looked to be heading for defeat after a Leroy Odiero own goal and a strike by George King had put the Larks two-nil ahead just past the hour mark. But United finally came to life in the final quarter of the game with Bradley Gray and then Matt Liddiard replying for the Robins to get their points tally up and running. Indeed after Liddiard`s leveller skipper Adam Mann and substitute James Campbell both struck shots that were within a whisker of grabbing United a late winner. It was the first time since taking over the hot-seat at the Jubilee Stadium that boss Paul Collicutt survived a first day defeat.

Larkhall opened strongly and after Joe Tumelty had gone close with a header, the unfortunate Odiero headed Josh Egan`s corner into his own net to hand the home side an 11th minute lead. Larkhall continued to look a threat going forward with Tyler Sibbick and Tumelty both going close. United though had their moments before half-time with Gray and Matt Williams getting in headers that flew over and Mann who planted a far post header into the side netting.

Soon after the re-start, Liddiard headed over from inside the six-yard box and Gray had his header disallowed for pushing. But in the 63rd minute Larkhall increased their lead to 2-0, United gave the ball away in midfield allowing Cory Simpson to race away and cross to king who rifled in a shot beyond Kevin Sawyer.

United responded when a huge clearance by Sawyer caused a mix-up in the Larkhall defence leaving Gray to round goalkeeper Shaun Semmens to make it 2-1 in the 78th minute. The Red and Whites were now enjoying their best spell in the match and after some heavy pressure a ball in from the right was met by Liddiard who levelled with a close range header. For the remaining few minutes Larkhall were forced to defend for their lives with Mann and Campbell almost winning it at the death.

UNITED:
Sawyer, M.Williams, Bennett, Haskayne (Campbell 65), Odiero (Sheehan 52), Liddiard, Bryan, Gray, Peel (Brown 28), Mann, Fahy.
Subs not used: Binns, Gilder

Referee: Mr B.Williamson (Somerset)                    

Attendance:177