IN-FORM Michael McGrath scored a superb first half free kick to give Alvechurch the lead at second placed Coleshill Town on Saturday but Lee Knight’s side were unable to build on their advantage and slipped to a 2-1 defeat.
The result means Alvechurch have now gone seven league matches without a win and sit 14th in the Midland Football League Premier Division heading into successive home games against Quorn on Saturday, Long Eaton United on Tuesday and Heath Hayes on Thursday.
McGrath had already gone close to giving the visitors the lead on Saturday when he volleyed just wide before making no mistake with his second attempt at the Coleshill goal in the 19th minute when he curled the ball around the defensive wall and into the far left hand corner of the goal.
Striker Shane Benjamin was proving to be an occasional nuisance to the Alvechurch defence but the visitors appeared to be all set for a deserved lead at the break, only for a throw-in to be only half cleared and former Lye Meadow man Chris Hughes drilled the loose ball home through a crowd of players from just inside the box to make it 1-1 in the 45th minute.
Both sides played some neat football in the second half but clearcut chances were hard to come by, although Benjamin saw his 59th minute header superbly saved at point-blank range by Shaun Edwards after the forward had got on the end of Thomas Weale’s free kick.
Coleshill began to crank up the pressure and Jacob Wright’s angled strike was well blocked by Toby Checketts before Robert Evans’ follow-up effort was beaten away by Edwards.
The hosts deservedly took the lead in the 64th minute when Benjamin capped a fine move featuring several one-touch passes which had cut the visiting rearguard apart.
Alvechurch almost mustered an immediate response when Checketts was left unmarked at the far post from a corner but his left-footed effort hit the outside of the post in the 69th minute and after that there were no further chances of an equaliser.
ALVECHURCH maintained their hopes of winning silverware this season thanks to a 2-0 victory at Wolverhampton Sporting in the JW Hunt Cup quarter-final last Thursday.
This was a tricky tie against lower league opposition but Alvechurch were in control throughout and progressed to seal a last four clash against Tividale or Sporting Khalsa for the right to play Stone OA in the final at Molineux.
The visitors took a 43rd minute lead through Dimitri Dunkley’s superb strike which sailed into the top corner from 20 yards and they capped a solid display in fine style in the first minute of stoppage time when substitute Ben Markall curled the ball into an unguarded net from just inside the hosts’ half after he had beaten the home keeper to the ball following the stopper’s venture upfield to take a free kick.
Reports compiled courtesy of www.pitchero.com/clubs/alvechurch.