IAN LONG warned he could be forced into further transfer moves to follow the capture of goalkeeper Charlie Price to deal with Alvechurch’s growing injury woes.
Former Rushall keeper Price, who had a spell at Lye Meadow last season, has returned from Lye Town after the decision of last term’s players’ player of the season Paul Evans to leave.
Price will be available to face visitors Sheffield on Saturday but the list of Church casualties and absentees numbered 11 in the countdown to the Evo-Stik Northern Premier South contest.
“I was working out the team and it could mean myself, Rich Colwell and Keith Rostill all have to sign forms to play on Saturday,” said Long.
“We could have 11 players missing. We’re hoping a few of them will be OK but we’re relying on our physio Pud (Paul Millward) to work his magic. We’re going to be down to the bare bones.”
Danny Dubidat should be fit after missing training in midweek but fellow strikers Josh March, Nathan Waite and Yusifu Ceesay will have fitness checks while Luke Yates is still recovering from a rib injury.
Midfielder Chris Whittingham and Babucar Sauane are ruled out while defender Alex Darlison had to be subbed last weekend against Coalville Town because of illness. Full back Jamie Ashmore is suspended against Sheffield after accumulating five bookings.
Ryan Winwood has only just started his comeback after his summer shoulder operation and linked up with Black Country Rangers for a run-out in midweek, so youth-teamers Ben Tilbury and Callum Debar could be involved.
Injuries have added to the pain of Alvechurch bowing out of the FA Trophy on Saturday with a crushing 5-1 defeat at home to Coalville.
Long felt the scoreline did not reflect a roller-coaster game, but the Ravens, led by hat-trick hero Dan Creaney, showed Church how to finish.
Jamie Willets pulled a goal back just after half time for 2-1 but then a 40-yarder from Creaney, pouncing on a misplaced chance, restored Coalville’s two-goal lead and they then punished Alvechurch with more goals on the counter-attack.
“It was a funny game. They weren’t better than us but the difference was they took their chances,” said Long. “There were two evenly-matched sides.
“Creaney got a hat-trick for them but their goalkeeper Matt Coton could have been man of the match with some fantastic saves from Mitch Botfield and Danny Dubidat.
“But it’s gone now. We have to dust ourselves down again. Our league form has been very good and we need to kick on again, starting against Sheffield. That’s going to be a big test.”
After Sheffield, Alvechurch will visit Heath Hayes on Tuesday as they begin their quest to win the JW Hunt Cup for a third year in a row.
With the injury list, Long suggested a mix of reserves and youth-teamers will be part of the team to face the Midland League Division One hosts. The winners will be at home to Wolves Casuals in round two.