22nd Sep, 2020

Holtham: Alvechurch need a change in luck

DEAN Holtham stressed Alvechurch cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves if they want to win their survival fight.

Church remain second from bottom in the BetVictor Southern League Premier Division as they head into Saturday’s home fixture against Needham Market.

Holtham’s side slipped and slid to a 1-0 defeat in horrendous conditions at Stourbridge last weekend, despite missing a penalty, creating numerous chances and limiting the promotion-chasing hosts to two shots on goal.

But the fact Ian Long’s side took their chances, while Alvechurch failed to score for the sixth time in seven matches.

Manager Holtham says he cannot fault his players’ endeavours but they are desperate for a change of fortune.

“The players are working really hard in training, working really hard in matches but we just need that bit of luck,” said Holtham.

“Stourbridge only had two shots in the whole game, one a cross-shot that went in. They were probably the better side in the first 15-20 minutes but after that we were the better side. We missed a penalty, missed a couple of one on ones, had other chances and their goalkeeper, Charlie Price, was man of the match.

“We just couldn’t score. That needs to change – we just need that little break.

“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. The performances are there but we need to turn that into points.”

With the game having survived several pitch inspections as Storm Dennis roared, both teams had to battle through the mud but the Glassboys went ahead on nine minutes when Chay Tilt cut inside and fired a low shot past keeper Matt Sargeant at his near post.

Church started to step up their attacking intent in the second half, with Price denying Connor Deards and Dominic Brown-Hill firing just wide.

But the key moment came on 61 minutes when Jordan Williams brought down Deards but Mitch Botfield’s penalty was parried by Price.

The former Church keeper again thwarted his old side 11 minutes from time after Kevin Monteiro broke clear.

Defeat leaves Alvechurch eight points behind fourth-bottom Leiston with a game in hand and 11 behind Stratford Town with three games in hand.

“We’ve still got a third of the season to play so it’s in our hands,” added Holtham.

Returning favourite Ryan Winwood, signed from Stourbridge, will be in contention to face 11th-placed Suffolk visitors Needham after not being allowed to face the Glassboys.

Fellow midfielder Monteiro is expected to be fit after picking up a knock last weekend. The injury would have ruled out in midweek but Holtham is confident he will be available on Saturday.

After the clash with Needham Market, Alvechurch are due to entertain Coalville Town next Tuesday, again weather permitting.

 

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