23rd Aug, 2019

Incoming movement is the priority for Alvechurch manager

Redditch Editorial 18th Jan, 2018

ALVECHURCH boss Ian Long stressed the focus remains on adding to the squad after targeting Ryan Nesbitt to follow the capture of Aaron Lloyd.

Church trio Josh March, Ash Carter and Yusifu Ceesay all had a run-out in a trial match for National League side Chester in midweek.

However, Long says he is only interested in ensuring the squad is fully equipped to sustain a promotion chase after bringing in striker Lloyd from Stourport Swifts.

Lloyd has been on Alvechurch’s radar after a pre-season stint in 2016 and, having seen Danny Dubidat exit to Liam McDonald’s Rushall Olympic, the powerful forward, who has netted 18 times in 29 appearances for Swifts, has now joined.

The one-time Halesowen Town, Cradley Town and Causeway United forward comes into contention for the Evo-Stik Northern Premier South trip to Lincoln United on Saturday as Church look to bounce back from the shock ending of their ten-match unbeaten run at home to Belper Town on Saturday.

Boldmere St Michaels’ Nesbitt, who has hit 21 games in 32 matches, is also on the wanted list, with Church filing a seven-day approach for the striker.

“We’ve got a busy run of games coming up and we need to be prepared,” said Long.

“We know the strengths of Aaron – he will give us something different – and he has been scoring goals regularly for Stourport.”

Striker March and defender Carter – who are both on contract – and front-runner Ceesay were invited to have a run-out for Chester in a behind closed doors friendly.

Chester’s assistant boss Ross Thorpe, No 2 to former Solihull Moors manager Marcus Bignot at the Deva Stadium, is a former Alvechurch boss who has kept his ties with the club.

However, Long has no inclination to see them depart.

“They got the chance to play in a trial game. I don’t want to lose them but I don’t want to hold any player back,” said Long.

“We want to keep pushing and, despite last weekend’s result, we are still well placed for second spot.”

The 4-2 reverse to Belper was Alvechurch’s first defeat in 11 matches but Long was left non-plussed by how the visitors completed their smash and grab raid.

Belper seized their chances with ruthless finishing to lead 3-0 at half time via Leandro Browne and Dominic Allen either side of a Jamie Ashmore own goal.

Although Nathan Waite suggested a comeback with a Church goal from March’s pass seven minutes after the break, Belper’s Lee Williamson made it 4-1 on 75 minutes and Jordan Nadat’s reply – his first goal since returning to Lye Meadow – was too little, too late.

“We battered them and defensively we were generally solid but individual errors cost us,” said Long. “They had three shots on goal and scored four – work that out!

“The performance was decent. We’ve got to put the result behind us and use Saturday to start another run.

“Before Saturday, we were unbeaten in ten games and if we go on in a similar run when we are playing some of the top sides in February we will put ourselves in a strong position.”

On Tuesday, Church meet Heath Hayes at Lye Meadow as they begin their defence of the JW Hunt Cup. The winners will be at home to Wolves Casuals.

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