September 23rd, 2016

Church boss Long aiming to bolster ranks with midfield addition

Updated: 4:37 pm, Nov 05, 2015

ALVECHURCH expect to complete the transfer of midfielder Sam Beasley to bolster their squad ahead of Saturday’s tough test against Coleshill Town.

Although visitors Coleshill lie 14th in Midland Football League DIvision One, Church boss Ian Long regards the Pack Meadow side as one of the league’s most capable sides and they have proved that by toppling higher league Stafford Rangers and Stamford in the FA Cup in a run which has left them with games on hand on the teams above them.

However, third placed Alvechurch are confident Beasley, who can play anywhere in midfield, will agree to join from Lye Town and can feature at the weekend.

Long can only speak to the former Causeway United player today (Friday) after the seven day approach, but he is convinced he can persuade Beasley to make the switch.

“Hopefully we can agree terms and we can get a deal done,” said Long. “Sam is a left-footer so he would give us a little bit of balance and give us more options to change our shape if needed. At 23, he is the perfect age to join us and help us go forward.”

The Churchmen expect to be close to full strength to face Coleshill after being without five players in Saturday’s excellent 4-0 FA Vase victory at Wisbech Town.

Leigh Downing, unavailable last time out, can return, alongside Richard Huckfield, Mark Smith and Luke Paskin, who were suspended, and the cup-tied Jordan Nadat.

“We expect Coleshill to give us a really tough game,” said Long. “Although they’re 14th, they’ve got games in hand after their FA Cup run and they were league runners-up last season. It will be a real test for us.”

That was also the case last weekend when Alvechurch headed to United Counties League side Wisbech but Long’s side marched into the second round after goals from Josh March, Connor Deards and Karl Edwards (2) – combined with two red cards for the hosts – secured an emphatic win.

Alvechurch will now visit AFC Bridgnorth, of the West Midlands Premier Division, in the second round on November 21.

The match at Wisbech was nip and tuck until the hosts had Billy Smith sent off for a two-footed tackle on Sam Williams on 23 minutes.

It proved a turning point and the Churchmen led six minutes before half time when March flicked home a Deards free kick.

Deards made it 2-0 on 53 minutes from the penalty spot after Jack Cresswell was fouled, before Edwards volleyed home a Cresswell corner five minutes later.

With 30 minutes left Wisbech were down to nine men when Steven Reid picked up a second booking and Alvechurch eased home with a fourth goal in stoppage time. Substitute Dilano Reid and Zac Foster combined down the left and Edwards controlled the cross to spin and fire home.

“It was pretty even until the sending off. Then we scored straight after and it was a double whammy. They never recovered,” said Long.

“With the extra man, we were able to keep the ball, make the pitch big and keep control.”

On Tuesday Alvechurch head to Studley for a Worcestershire Senior Urn quarter-final tie.

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