DROITWICH Spa Men opened up their summer league campaign with a 5-2 loss to Pershore.

Despite defeat there were positives to take for Spa, who saw Craig Smith bag a brace.

They opened the encounter in composed fashion, with chances being spurned by Matthew Darbyshire and Craig Timmis in the early exchanges.

However, Pershore scored after eight minutes from their first attack, before their second arrived with a neat lob finish over Spa keeper George Robertshaw.

Spa’s rivals then made it 3-0 in the 26th minute when the ball was squeezed past Robertshaw on his near post.

Droitwich continued to press, with right wing back Mark Bartle distributing the ball out wide to Darbyshire who continued to use his pace to fashion chances for Craig Smith and Marcus Claytor whose control let them down in the circle.

A precision pass from Richard Waters from the edge of Droitwich circle set up Smith who neatly turned the defender before flicking the ball into the top right hand corner past the advancing keeper to leave Droitwich 3-1 behind at the break.

In the second half, Droitwich were more resilient and compact, passing the ball around confidently and building attacks both down the left and right as they looked to cut the deficit.

Their second goal arrived after Waters pass caused confusion in the Pershore defence, resulting in their keeper leaving the ball for Smith to pounce and score from close in.

Robershaw continued to keep Spa to within one goal as he made a series of excellent saves, including coming to smother an effort at the top of the D where the forward could not beat him one-on-one.

He was backed up by his defence as Alexi Payne raced across the circle to clear an effort off the line.

Droitwich’s pace provided other opportunities but the forwards could not apply finishing touches.

Pershore pressure eventually paid dividends as they scored two goals in the last seven minutes to leave the score 5-2.

lDroitwich continue the league against Evesham next Wednesday at home (7.30pm start). Men or women interested in joining can email secretary@dshc.org.uk