Pershore Town 2 Southam United 2
A LAST minute goal denied Saints victory at Pershore Town and they now trail leaders Continental Star by four points in the race for the Athium Midland Combination Premier Division title.
Missing Quentin Townsend and Neil Stacey through suspension, as well as the injured Brad Rees, Saints put up a sluggish first half performance but still had enough chances to stamp their authority on the match.
They found themselves a goal down after only three minutes when carelessly giving away a corner which they failed to defend, allowing a free header from inside the six-yard box.
The lively Tunde Ajibade could have levelled in the 10th minute but shot over before spurning another chance in the 21st minute.
A long Pershore clearance caught out the Saints defence and, with keeper Matt Oliver beaten to the ball, they were relieved to see the shot sail over the unguarded net.
Saints looked to have a shout for a penalty when Simeon Smith was held in the area at a free-kick, but the ball broke to Luke Church who shot over.
With half-time approaching, Smith was through on goal with only Dan Haywood to beat but shot straight at the relieved keeper and another chance went begging.
Oliver kept Saints in the game with a finger-tip save immediately after the break and they squared the match shortly after when a poor kick from Haywood only reached Oli Manoochehri whose cross was turned in by Smith.
Saints got their noses in front on the hour. Smith was tripped in the penalty area but Jack Taylor’s spot kick was pushed away for a corner by Haywood from which Ajibade rose to head home.
Instead of pressing home their advantage, Saints played deep, inviting Pershore to mount attacks and, with the defence under pressure, it took a good save by Oliver in the 73rd minute to keep their lead intact.
The bar then came to their rescue four minutes from time but substitute Nathan Jukes got Pershore’s late equaliser when his free-kick from just outside the box took a deflection and beat Oliver.
Saints travel to Pelsall Villa this Saturday.
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