PERSHORE Town made life more difficult than it might have been before seeing through a warranted 3-1 over Studley in the Worcestershire Senior Cup.

Dominant Town had only Sam Clark’s close-range finish to show for their first-half efforts but maintained that momentum after the restart, doubling the advantage through Jake Cavens in the 56th minute.

A lapse at the back halved the deficit with Studley waking from their slumber after Dan Carter accepted a gift.

The visitors ratcheted up the pressure but seconds after the Bees had thrown Lewis Clarke up front, the returning Charlie Anagho-Ntamark killed any prospect of a fightback with eight minutes remaining.

Studley keeper Connor McCarthy nearly made a hash of Matt Pinder’s deflected free-kick early on but it was a tame start until Pershore got going.

Openings were few and far between but a clever corner routine broke the deadlock after 31 minutes.

Pinder’s short play from the flag found James Baldwin to lift in for Nick Seabourne to hit the bar and Clark to slam in the rebound.

The hosts should have been two up a minute before the interval with Baldwin cutting back to the free Pinder to scuff into McCarthy’s arms from no more than 10 yards.

Baldwin may have tested McCarthy had he not dallied in the box five minutes into the second half but Pershore eventually got number two with Cavens guiding a low cutback from the right low inside the near post.

That seemed to take the sting out of Town’s play and they were made to pay in the 64th minute.

Luke Hennessey’s lofted ball from the halfway line found Carter who was left far too much space at the near post by Toby Wilcox to find the net.

Studley’s Sam Leonard-Mould then had a header blocked by Dan Tustin with Clarke’s rebound also charged down before Jordan Hayward hacked to safety.

Max Crisp might have equalised had he connected properly with Aaron Bunn’s fierce free-kick and with the Bees scenting blood, Clarke was pushed up top.

But that played a part in Pershore sealing the deal with Tustin’s well-weighted ball cushioned by Cavens into the path of Anagho-Ntamark to tuck in a similar finish to the one the provider had previously put away.

The final few minutes remained frenetic with Anagho-Ntamark close to a fourth following customary strong hold-up play from Seabourne and a low ball in from Cavens.

Pershore: Wilcox 5, Unwin 8, Hayward 7, Tustin 8, CLARK 8.5*, Noke 8, Anagho-Ntmark 7, Cavens 8, Seabourne 7, Pinder 6.5 (Whitton, 74, 6), Baldwin 6.5 (Mackintosh, 74, 6.5).

Unused subs: Webb, Nicholls (g/k).

Pershore star man - Sam Clark 

Attacking-midfielder-turned-centre-half, who has featured between the sticks before now, showed no signs of playing out of position and launched his fair share of attacks too. 

Two goals in two matches from the heart of the defence and the kind of nous usually shown by far more experienced players in his own box speaks for itself. 

Honourable mentions for partner in crime Dan Noke, who was equally effective at centre-half, while Dan Tustin provided guile and style in the middle of the park. Gloucester City loanee James Unwin was also effective at both ends.

Overall it was strong performance despite a brief wobble after conceding. 

Studley: McCarthy 5.5, Jones 6 (Clarke, 28, 6), Leonard-Mould 5, Hennessey 5.5, Crisp 5, Marsdon 5, Moss 4.5 (Bunn, 57, 6), M Edwards 5.5, Smith 5, Carter 6.5, Cooke 5.5 (J Carter, 74, 5.5).

Unused sub: Dave Edwards.