Eventful start for Alvechurch - The Redditch Standard
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14th Aug, 2022

Eventful start for Alvechurch

Redditch Editorial 7th Aug, 2014 Updated: 18th Oct, 2016

IT HAS been a dramatic start to life in the newly-formed Midland Football League Premier Division for Alvechurch as their opening two fixtures produced nine goals and yielded three points.

Ross Thorpe’s side began the campaign with a 2-0 victory at Heath Hayes on Saturday thanks to a Connor Deards double before losing 4-3 in a thriller at Boldmere St Michaels on Tuesday.

The action-packed start to the season continues on Saturday when Alvechurch welcome Walsall Wood to Lye Meadow before another home match on Tuesday against Kirby Muxloe.

Former Walsall and Redditch United forward Deards was the hero on Saturday as his brace in the last ten minutes secured maximum points.

The first goal was a superb 80th minute free kick after Malachi Farquharson had been fouled 20 yards out to halt a surging run from midfield and Deards then doubled his tally with an opportunistic second on 86 minutes when he latched on to a deflected shot ten yards out and coolly converted.

Earlier in the match Alvechurch skipper Scott Smith had seen a first minute strike cleared off the line before the same player’s effort was deflected just wide midway through the first half.

Tyler Maxwell was the hosts’ main threat and he twice went close to scoring.

Tuesday’s game saw Alvechurch come within a whisker of salvaging something at The Mikes despite falling three goals behind in the first half against a side who won 9-1 at Rocester in their opening game.

For the second match in succession Smith saw a first minute effort cleared off the line as this time his header was thwarted, but the hosts then took command and were 2-0 up inside 15 minutes.

On 11 minutes former Alvechurch striker Charisma Agbonlahor’s cross from the right was glanced in at the near post by Jason Holmes and the lead was doubled on the quarter hour when Alex Forde was allowed far too much time and space 20 yards out and, after receiving a square pass across the face of the visiting back four, was able to control and fire a low shot past the despairing dive of Stuart Parsons.

The visitors gave halved their deficit in the 20th minute when Chris Hughes’ free kick was met by Jermaine Clarke with a flicked headed effort which looped goalward and eluded home keeper Jenkins before finding its way into the net off the inside of the post.

However, Alvechurch conceded again in the 28th minute when poor marking allowed Will Perkins to flick home from Holmes’ right wing cross and it was 4-1 on 40 minutes when Ross Clarke powered into the visitors’ box and a despairing attempted block from Smith on Clarke’s shot only succeeded in taking the ball out of the reach of Parsons, who may well have saved the effort without the deflection.

They had a mountain to climb, but Alvechurch emerged for the second half in determined spirits and both Jermaine Clarke and Deards went close to scoring before they did make it 4-2 in the 54th minute when Clarke showed good awareness to win possession and cross for Deards to power a far post diving header into the roof of the net.

There was just one goal in it with 13 minutes left when a long throw from Jordan Cullinane-Liburd deceived the home defence and the ball fell kindly for Hughes to ghost in at the far post and stroke the ball home from close range.

The visitors piled on the pressure in the search of an equaliser but it was Agbonlahor who came closest to scoring again in the 87th minute when he fired against the bar.

There was still time for Alvechurch substitute Gareth Evans to see red after receiving two yellow cards in three minutes and the visitors left empty-handed after a dramatic encounter.

Report compiled with the help of www.pitchero.com/clubs/alvechurch.

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