ALVECHURCH boss Ian Long read the riot act to his players after Saturday’s dismal FA Cup exit at the hands of Corby Town – and the squad have the perfect chance to make amends when league leaders Kettering Town visit Lye Meadow on Saturday.
Church – albeit with an inexperienced line-up – produced comfortably their worst display of an encouraging season so far as lower-ranked visitors Corby eased to a 4-1 win in the second qualifying round.
Whilst the visit of the Southern League Premier Central table-topping Poppies represents the sternest of tests as tenth-placed Alvechurch bid to bounce back, the incentive is there for the hosts to show what they are made of, with Long insisting his side will bid to take the game to the opposition.
After a bright start on Saturday, Alvechurch – seven games unbeaten at the time – fell behind to Joel Carta’s goal after goalkeeper Paul Evans’ clearance had been intercepted.
The hosts rallied and Mitch Botfield saw a shot saved before Kieron Cook fired over. The pressure told when Josh March’s persistence created a chance for Cook who fired the ball into the bottom corner.
However, a neat finish from Carta restored the visitors’ lead before the break and it was game over soon after the restart after Carta completed his hat-trick and defender Jamie Anton headed home to make it 4-1.
Wednesday’s scheduled JW Hunt Cup clash at Bilston was postponed due to problems with the Black Country side’s floodlights. The tie has been provisionally rearranged for Wednesday, October 24.
Alvechurch have been drawn to face divisional rivals Stratford Town in the Southern League Challenge Cup first round on Tuesday, October 16, meaning the league fixture between the sides at Lye Meadow will be played on Tuesday, November 13.