ALCESTER Town have been challenged to show leaders FC Stratford what they are capable of when they visit their table-topping local rivals on Saturday (2pm).
Buoyed by a 5-1 home win over Inkberrow on Saturday, Town have won six successive matches in all competitions to surge up to seventh in Midland League Division Three, but player-manager James Robbins knows his side will have to be at their very best to maintain their winning sequence against an FC Stratford side who have lost just one of 16 league games this season.
“Our next three fixtures see us playing the current top three and the lads cannot wait to get stuck into the run of games,” said defender Robbins.
“We have been on a very good run of form and we go into the game full of confidence.
“I said before the Inkberrow game the next four fixtures will go a long way to shaping how our season is going to go. We managed to gain all three points in that one and now it is up to us to show the sides at the top end of the table what we are capable of and continue to pick up points.
“Stratford are flying high and are in very good form too, so we should be in for a cracking game.
“Both sides know they will be in for a right battle but we go there confident in the group we have and we will certainly be looking to take a positive result from the game.”
Alcester will be without Kieran Downey who completes a two-match suspension but are hopeful of being able to call on the services of Adam Trinder who missed the Inkberrow game with a hamstring injury.
Town forward Robbie Davies has turned down the chance to move to league rivals Redditch Borough, to the delight of Robbins.
Davies joined Alcester in the summer to play for Danny Janes in Town’s reserve side and, following impressive performances, Robbins called him into the first team squad.
Having impressed in his 13 appearances for the first team, most recently when netting his third goal of the season against Inkberrow, the youngster continues to attract interest.
However, he is no rush to leave.
“I feel like Danny has helped me a lot to develop as a player over the past few years and I wouldn’t be here without him,” said Davies.
“Credit also to Robbo and Tom as they’ve worked with me and it’s started to pay off and I certainly feel that I can add to my goal tally and also continue to creature more goals at Alcester.
“In football you’ll always get offers from other sides when you’re performing well. Loyalty is a lot for me and I feel as though Alcester have worked so hard with me that it’s only right that I stay here and continue to develop.”
On Saturday Alcester took a 2-0 lead against Inkberrow thanks to Davies’ fine strike and Nick Dance who rounded the keeper to score, but their superiority was threatened when they saw Matt Trinder sent off for alleged illegal use of the elbow.
However, Matt Layton scored the crucial third goal of the game for the hosts before the break and it was 4-0 in the second half when Layton converted after a lobbed pass from Robbins.
Robbins then struck himself with a neat finish before the visitors bagged a last-gasp consolation when an inswinging free kick eluded everyone and nestled in the far corner of the net.