KEEPER James Key’s heroics were unable to stop Evesham seconds losing their first ENER-G Men’s West Midlands Division Two clash of 2013.

They fell 3-1 at rivals Pershore, despite the efforts of their man-of-the-match Key, with Ali Sanderson (2) and Toby Whiting on target.

The first 20 minutes saw plenty of midfield play with both teams working hard to gain an advantage.

Pershore passed more fluently through Whiting, Russ McGettigan, Paul Grummitt and Vince Crawley, increasing the pressure with both Richard Fear and Key excelling in the Evesham rearguard.

Sanderson, Graham Handley, Ollie Betteridge and Steve Quantrell were denied before the former managed to finally beat the keeper.

He added a second within 10 minutes through a wellstruck shot from the edge of the ‘D’ after a penalty corner.

Captain Ashley Padfield was instrumental in Evesham’s reply and one bout of pressure resulted in a free hit just inside the opposing 25-yard line.

Padfield fired it directly into the ‘D’ and the ball caught the edge of Pershore defender Karl Lawson’s stick, deflecting into the goal before half-time.

For most of the second period, Evesham’s solid defending and goalkeeping caused frustration but Pershore extended their lead through Whiting’s penalty stroke.

Evesham Badgers earned a 0-0 draw at Bromsgrove and almost bagged the win when Frances Russell shot wide.