Alvechurch 0 Hednesford Town 1
Report by Colin Stoner
MANAGER Dean Holtham had spoken pre-match about the need to add to Alvechurch’s strikeforce and Saturday proved exactly why.
Church slipped to a third defeat in a row, all by a single goal, and five of their last seven losses have been by a one-goal margin.
On Saturday, there was little between Church and a Hednesford side on the fringe of the Southern Premier Central play-offs, but the difference was the visitors pounced from a set-piece and then comfortably dealt with the hosts’ attempts to find a way back.
After Dan Glover slotted home eight minutes into the second half, Hednesford were happy to sit back and, while it became a game of attack versus defence, Alvechurch struggled to create any clearcut chances. Too often, they failed to look after the ball to build any pressure.
Their best chance had come within the first 15 minutes through lively newcomer Nehamia Zazi. The forward, making his debut after joining from Coleshill Town, nicked the ball of Pitmen skipper Ben Bailey just inside the visitors’ half and scampered down the left, only to see his low shot blocked by keeper Shaun Rowley.
Defender Joe Hull sent a soaring header over from Lewis Wright’s free kick before the break as Alvechurch could feel well pleased with their first half display.
At the other end, Elliot Hodge collected Glover’s pass but his shot was scrambled clear and another close-range effort from Glover was blocked at the far post before keeper Joe Slinn comfortably gathered a James Hurst strike.
However, on 53 minutes, Hodge and Glover combined to take the lead. Church failed to clear Hodge’s corner kick from the left and Glover swivelled as the ball bounced at the far post and rammed home a low shot into the far corner.
Hodge had a 20-yarder well saved by Slinn but Hednesford were happy to concede possession after that.
Church skipper Kyle Morrison went closest to an equaliser, overlapping to take Wright’s flick, but Rowley clawed away his angled effort before substitute Kyle Perry was convinced he should have had a penalty when going to ground under Bailey’s challenge, but referee Richard Eley waved away his claims.
Church remain third from bottom and they will look to get back to winning ways on Tuesday night when they welcome former boss Ian Long and his Stourbridge side to Lye Meadow.