ALVECHURCH’S FA Cup frustration will only intensify their determination to enjoy an FA Vase run to remember when they kick off on a second Wembley trail tomorrow (Saturday).
The Churchmen felt harshly done by to exit the Cup on Saturday after a 1-0 defeat at fellow Midland Premier side Stourport Swifts.
But they bounced back with a hugely impressive 3-1 win over Highgate United on Monday to move into fifth place in the table, a single point behind leaders Long Eaton.
Now manager Ian Long says they need to keep building the momentum as they head to Lichfield City tomorrow in the first qualifying round of the Vase.
“After the disappointment of the Cup, the FA Vase becomes a priority,” said Long. “I’ve never really had a run in it as a manager and I’d love a run in it with Alvechurch.
“We’ve got a good enough side to get a run going. Of course, you need that little bit of luck and we didn’t get that on Saturday.
“We played really well on both Saturday and Monday and we were extremely unlucky to go out of the FA Cup.
“We hit the woodwork four times and had a couple cleared off the line. We even stopped ourselves scoring when Richard Huckfield’s header was going into the net but Connor Deards, in trying to get it over the line, blocked it!
“But we showed great character to bounce back against Highgate.”
Church were left bemused by their Cup KO at unbeaten Swifts after Jamie Willetts hit the 66nd-minute winner.
Andy Parsons’ first-half header was cleared off the Swifts’ line and Leigh Downing’s corner hit the hosts’ bar while Deards had an effort ruled out. But Swifts went ahead with a header from skipper Willetts and Alvechurch’s pounding of the home goal was in vain when Huckfield and Deards again hit the woodwork.
On Monday, Alvechurch sent a clear message to their likely title challengers as goals from Josh March, Deards and Karl Edwards beat Highgate at Lye Meadow