15th Oct, 2019

Botfield makes return to Alvechurch from Stourbridge

Correspondent 3rd Oct, 2019

ALVECHURCH will welcome back a familiar face after midfielder Mitch Botfield returned to the club.

The all-action player had left to follow former boss Ian Long to Stourbridge last month but now he has rejoined Darren Byfield’s squad.

The Church have no game this weekend before they face AFC Wulfrunians on Tuesday at Lye Meadow in the first round of the Birmingham Senior Cup.

Manager Byfield will relish the break to assess recent performances after going down 2-1 at Redditch United in Tuesday’s League Challenge Cup tie to follow a last-gasp 1-1 draw at home to Biggleswade Town last Saturday.

The Church had struck first at the Trico Stadum in midweek when Kyle Perry slammed home a shot from 16 yards from 27 minutes.

But the Reds levelled matters four minutes into the second half with a Louis Monaghan header and then Jak Hickman bagged a cracking winner with a 20-yard free-kick on 73 minutes.

On Saturday, Perry had marked his Alvechurch debut with a stoppage-time penalty equaliser against Bigglewade.

Alvechurch had looked the more likely winners until the visitors grabbed a shock lead in the 89th minute. Devante Stanley’s right-wing pass found Joseph White inside the penalty area and he twisted past defender Jamie Willets to guide a low show past keeper Joe Slinn.

Byfield’s side, however, were not finished and when Biggleswade sub Ruben Soares Jnr sent John Atherton sprawling on the left-hand side of the area in the final moments of injury time ref Richard Eley pointed to the spot. Perry, signed from Bromsgrove Sporting, stepped up and sent keeper Sam Donkin the wrong way with virtually the last kick of the game.

The Church had been under the cosh in the first half as the Waders, sparked by playmaker Matthew Ball, took control, only for home keeper Joe Slinn to pull off excellent saves to deny White twice as well as Shaun Lucien and Matthew Miles with his boot.

But Church, led by the all-action Jordan Goddard, were much improved in the second period with Ben Usher-Shipway and Perry having efforts saved by Donkin and Thomas Smith kicking Kyle Morrison’s low shot off the line.

Meanwhile, former boss Ian Long’s return to Lye Meadow with new club has been put on hold.

Long’s Stourbridge were due to face the Church in a league game on Tuesday October 15 but that has now been postponed because the Glassboys have a rearranged Birmingham Senior Cup tie against Lye Town to play

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