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25th Oct, 2021

Gritty Church eye FA Cup progress

Redditch Editorial 20th Sep, 2018

ALVECHURCH head into Saturday’s FA Cup second qualifying round tie at home to Corby Town having extended their unbeaten run to seven games in all competitions thanks to two hard-fought Southern League Premier Central draws.

Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Hitchin Town was followed by a goalless draw at home to a strong Stourbridge side on Tuesday which continued Ian Long’s side’s record of not conceding a league goal at home this season – now up to four matches.

Alvechurch made a bright start against the Glassboys and Taylor Morrison’s fizzing cross only just eluded Aaron Lloyd, but the visitors responded strongly and Leon Broadhurst went close before Chekaine Steele fired just wide and then hit the post directly from a corner.

Stourbridge remained in the ascendancy after half-time and Kaiman Anderson missed the target from close range before defender Aaron Hayden headed against the bar with the best chance of the game.

Alvechurch finished well and Lloyd forced a decent stop from James Wren before Kieron Cook fired wide with the last kick of the game, but defeat would have been harsh on Stourbridge.

On Saturday at Hitchin, Church fell behind in the first half to a fine 20-yard curling free-kick from Charlie Smith, but recovered to grab a point through Josh March’s goal after the break.

The first half was full of plenty of chances, with Kyle Morrison having his header tipped over by Michael Johnson, before Smith opened the scoring and March headed against the bar.

After March’s neat equaliser, the visitors pressed for a winner but Johnson saved from Taylor Morrison and then brilliantly tipped Aaron Birch’s point-blank header over the bar, albeit with the latter deemed offside.

After the FA Cup tie against lower-ranked Southern League Division One East outfit Corby, ninth-placed Church resume their league campaign at home to current leaders Kettering Town on September 29. Contribution to words from Lewis Glennon.

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