IT PROVED to be an entertaining end to the 2015/16 season for Yardley as they ended their West Midlands Division One campaign with a thrilling 6-5 defeat away at Pershore.
With nothing at stake for both, some could be forgiven for expecting a dour final fixture, but to their credit they ended up producing a high-scoring game that could have gone either way.
Yardley got into their stride right from the start and soon produced some promising attacks. Zakariyya Asif drove down the left and into the D before squaring the ball to Usamah Iqbal for a simple tap-in at the far post for the opening goal.
Another break saw Rob McGuigan drive into the D from the left before passing to Noor Zaman who made no mistake as the visitors held a two-goal lead after the first ten minutes.
Pershore then stepped up their game and enjoyed a period of their own pressure from which they scored, and then followed up with two more two quick goals to grab the lead.
Other attempts on goal were well dealt with by Yardley keeper Neal Makepeace as both teams traded end-to-end attacks.
Rob McGuigan went close before another lively attack including some excellent inter-passing between Alex Makepeace, skipper Zach Jarvis and Rob McGuigan led to Noor Zaman scoring his second to make it 3-3.
And right before half-time Zaman drove into the D and completed his hat-trick with a straight strike on goal to give his side a slender lead at the break.
With seven goals in the first half, both teams deserved their half-time rest and they returned to slug it out once again.
Pershore managed to restore their lead from two well-taken short corners before Yardley produced another effort on goal but Zaman’s flick was pushed over the bar by Pershore’s keeper.
The hosts thought they had finally won the game when another attacking break which produced a chance that was deflected under Yardley’s keeper for their sixth. Not to be out-done, Rob McGuigan picked up the ball just outside the D, got into a shooting position and his reverse shot found the bottom corner.
To their great credit Yardley pushed on in search of an equaliser but Pershore managed to hold on for all three points.