ALVECHURCH showed plenty of resolve to earn a 0-0 draw at the then Midland Football League Premier Division leaders Long Eaton United on Saturday.
The result leaves Lee Adams’ side in ninth place in the table and in good spirits ahead of their Birmingham Senior Cup first round tie against Causeway United at Lye Meadow on Tuesday.
Saturday’s encounter was keenly contested and the visitors more than matched their high-flying hosts as chances were created at both ends.
Luke Shearer had strong claims for a penalty waved away as early as the third minute and the same player was nearly put through on goal for Alvechurch five minutes later by Jack Cresswell but the ball was cleared for a corner.
Cresswell then fired wastefully over the bar before the hosts’ Cooper-Richards saw his strike tipped on to the bar and over by Alvechurch keeper Stuart Parsons.
Midway through the first half home keeper Josh O’Brien nearly gifted Adams’ side a goal through poor handling, but recovered just in time to thwart Shearer.
The hosts raised their game in the second half and Blair twice went close before the best chance of the match came the way of the Derbyshire side midway through the half, only for substitute Shaun Rickford to see his header from point blank range superbly saved by Parsons.
Soon afterwards Connor Deards twice spurned close range chances to put the visitors ahead and ultimately a draw was a fair result between two highly committed teams.
REDDITCH United return to Southern League Premier Division action on Saturday when high-flying Weymouth are the visitors to the Valley Stadium.
The Reds have slipped into mid-table in recent weeks as injuries to key players have played a part in halting their blistering start to the campaign, but boss Liam McDonald is determined to see his side get back to form.
Having recently brought in Jordan Cullinane-Liburd from Alvechurch and also put reserve team forward Demari Wisdom on first team terms following a series of impressive displays, the gaffer is determined to ensure his side have strength in depth.
More new faces were in the pipeline as the Standard went to press, although Redditch remain without the services of forward Jamie Molyneux until around Christmas due to a fractured ankle, whilst fellow attacker Jermaine Hylton remains a fortnight away from returning from a groin injury.
Redditch, who visit Paulton Rovers in a rearranged game on Tuesday, will be without the services of suspended midfield duo Ashley Sammons (two games) and Max Loveridge (three games) beginning this Saturday.