IAN LONG hopes the capture of striker Nathan Waite will provide extra firepower to title-chasing Alvechurch’s misfiring armoury.
The Churchmen’s delight at ending table-toppers Hereford’s 27-match winning run on Saturday vanished when they had to settle for a point against struggling Quorn, who earned a 1-1 draw at Lye Meadow on Tuesday.
Manager Long believes there will be plenty of twists and turns in the remaining three months of the season in the chase for the Midland League Premier Division title, but admitted their lack of goals had become a major worry.
Hence the arrival of Waite on loan from Halesowen Town, with the forward set to make his debut against Brocton at Lye Meadow on Saturday.
Waite is a familiar face to Long, having played for the manager at title-winning Tividale and Tipton Town, and his presence will add to the competition for strike roles with top scorer Karl Edwards, Jordan Nadat and recent signing Nick Wright.
Long said: “He was our leading scorer when we won the league at Tividale and then went to Chasetown and Halesowen. Hopefully he will add more firepower and more competition up top.
“He is quick, strong and he wants to attack the box and score goals.
“We’ve scored only once in each of the last four games, including the FA Vase defeat at Cleethorpes, and that’s not good enough.
“Drawing two and winning one of the last three games isn’t title-winning form. The players need to look at themselves because we can do better.”
Against both Hereford and Quorn, Alvechurch have fallen behind before grabbing equalisers in 1-1 draws. Wright cancelled out Ryan Green’s opener in front of 4,000 at Edgar Street on Saturday before Zac Foster bagged the leveller against Quorn on Tuesday after Leigh Downing had missed a penalty.
After the highs of the performance to halt the seemingly unstoppable Bulls, Long was thoroughly frustrated by the display against lowly Quorn.
He was honest enough to admit he probably erred by making seven changes on Tuesday, despite the understandable desire to freshen up the starting XI, but the players failed to deliver, he said.
Long also admitted Alvechurch will need to have a Plan B to cope with stubborn opponents who see the second placed Churchmen as a real scalp and to deal with increasingly tough conditions.
“The pitch was heavy and muddy, a real leveller on Tuesday, but you have to give credit to Quorn. They didn’t play like a team near the bottom of the league,” said Long.
“We certainly didn’t play as well as we can but teams are raising their games against us. We need to deal with that and if we need to change the way we play when pitches are heavy, like they are at the moment, then we need to.”
Hereford now lead the table by 11 points but the Churchmen have four games in hand.
The title-chasers meet again on Tuesday at Hereford in the Polymac Packaging League Cup last 16.
“I can’t see Hereford dropping many points for the rest of the season so our lads have got to be consistent whoever we play,” said Long.
“We’ve got to roll our sleeves up and show what we can do.
“I’m sure there will be plenty of twists and turns before the final whistle of the final game.”
Wright is the main injury worry for Church this weekend after he suffered a back injury against Hereford.
Pictures: Steve Evans, Alvechurch FC