22nd Sep, 2020

It's crunch time for Alvechurch

Redditch Editorial 30th Jan, 2020

ALVECHURCH will be aiming to turn the tables on their in-form opponents to boost their survival hopes in Southern Premier Central.

They will prepare for a crunch clash at home to Leiston on Saturday, with the former basement side having produced a dazzling run to haul themselves away from the relegation zone.

Then Church are back at Lye Meadow on Tuesday to meet second-placed Tamworth, the title favourites, before heading to third-placed Peterborough Sports next Saturday.

Boss Dean Holtham knows home form will be vital to escaping the danger area but they have struggled at Lye Meadow, winning just twice in 11 home fixtures.

Despite positive moments, Church slipped to a 3-1 defeat at Hitchin Town last weekend to leave them third from bottom in the standings.

They do have five games in hand on fourth-bottom Stratford Town, who have a six-point gap, and two on fifth-bottom Leiston, who are eight points ahead of Alvechurch.

Leiston had been adrift at the bottom with Redditch United at one point but, having hammered the Reds 6-0 at the start of December, they have won four out of seven under new boss Glenn Driver, losing only to AFC Rushden & Diamonds.

On Saturday, Taylor Morrison’s stunning goal was Alvechurch’s only reward, despite playing their part in an entertaining clash at Top Field.

Hitchin’s bright start was rewarded with a 13th-minute opener, with a move down the left tapped home by Jacob Hutchinson from six yards.

However, left-back Morrison’s magic levelled matters ten minutes later, gliding past two defenders in running from the halfway line and firing past keeper Charlie Horlock and they continued to test the hosts.

However, Hitchin regained the lead on the half hour, when Alex Marsh’s shot hit the legs of keeper Joe Slinn and bounced off Morrison into the net.

Mitch Botfield headed over and Horlock gathered another shot from the Church midfielder, but Hitchin crucially got the next goal six minutes after the interval.

Diogo Freitas Gouveia controlled the ball and fired through the crowded penalty area into the bottom corner past an unsighted Slinn.

Church pressed and the lively Kevin Monteiro fired over and Botfield was denied bravely by the keeper, but Hitchin’s defence stood firm.

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