September 26th, 2016

Long calls for Alvechurch focus

IAN Long says a frustrating week of results will be a reminder that Alvechurch cannot take anything for granted in their challenge for honours.

Church’s nine-match winning league run was ended by a shock 2-1 defeat at Loughborough University on Saturday and then two points were dropped on Tuesday when lowly Boldmere St Michaels grabbed a 93rd-minute equaliser in a 2-2 draw at Lye Meadow.

It meant Church slipped to third place in the Midland League Premier Division, although they still have games in hand over leaders Hereford and second placed Heanor Town approaching a third of the way through the season.

Manager Long says Saturday was an off-day but they had their chances against the Mikes, only to let the visitors off the hook. It is a lesson they will need to learn ahead of Saturday when basement side Continental Star come to Lye Meadow.

“I’m still reasonably happy to be where we are after a dozen games but we can’t take anything for granted,” said Long.

“The teams at the top are very competitive and you can see that from the results of the likes of Hereford. They’re the team I fear the most but we’ve still got games in hand.

“Our advantage has slipped after the last week so we need to get back to winning ways.”

Luke Paskin remains sidelined for the Continental Star game but there was good news for the defender who injured his foot against Wednesfield ten days ago. An X-ray has revealed no broken bones and Long hopes it will not be a long-term problem.

Fellow centre back Mark Smith, who is now back after suspension, has also given Church another boost after rejecting a move to Coleshill Town.

Strike duo Jordan Nadat and Karl Edwards were both on target as Church drew with Boldmere.

The Mikes led through Jason Holmes’ fourth minute effort but Nadat levelled on 38 minutes with a turn and shot and a slick passing move three minutes into the second half ended with Edwards converting a Zac Foster cross.

However, a killer third home goal never arrived and Callum Rudd made them pay with the last-gasp equaliser.

At Loughborough, a deflected shot from Max Herbert put the hosts ahead on 31 minutes.

Josh March controlled Sam Williams’ pass to level on 56 minutes but three minutes later Ben Ward-Cochrane’s free kick gave the hosts the winner.

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