ALVECHURCH host King’s Lynn Town on Saturday looking to make an instant statement of intent following Tuesday’s disappointing FA Trophy exit at the hands of Southern Premier Central rivals Stratford Town.
Church were simply not at the races as hosts Town powered into a 3-0 lead inside 42 minutes in Tuesday’s first qualifying round replay and that is how the score remained until the final whistle.
Town’s progress means they have won this season’s mini cup battle 2-1 against Alvechurch, having also defeated the Worcestershire side in the League Challenge Cup after an FA Cup defeat earlier in the campaign.
The sides had been evenly matched in Saturday’s original tie at Lye Meadow but it was not the case three days later as in-form Stratford extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to nine matches.
Stratford went ahead in the opening stages when Wilson Carvalho was upended by Jamie Willets and picked himself up to fire the resulting spot-kick low into the corner of the net.
Church were on the back foot as Town pressed with high intensity and the home side’s free-flowing football was almost further rewarded on 12 minutes, only for Charlie Price to save smartly at his near post from Mike Taylor.
It was 2-0 on 37 minutes though when Kieren Westwood swung in an inviting cross from the left and Taylor thumped home an angled header which flew into the far corner and left Price helpless.
The match was as good as over three minutes before half-time when Albi Skendi drove through Church’s midfield and defensive lines before feeding Taylor at the far post and the Stratford striker had the simplest of chances to tap into an unguarded goal.
Chances were at a premium in the second half as Church finally showed some resistance and Stratford were happy to protect what they had but, from a Town perspective, the job had already been done.
In Saturday’s original tie, Town had fallen behind in the 26th minute when Josh March headed home from Tom Turton’s corner, but parity was restored on 49 minutes when Taylor was left unmarked to nod home from Will Grocott’s excellent corner.
Alvechurch go into this weekend’s clash sixth in the table with 19 points from 11 matches. Church will travel to Rushall Olympic on Saturday, November 10 for a league fixture which has been rearranged due to other sides’ continued involvement in the FA Trophy.