IAN LONG warned a repeat of last weekend’s display will shatter Alvechurch’s hopes of creating FA Cup history tomorrow (Saturday).
The Church were left shellshocked after a crushing 5-1 home defeat to Stamford in last Saturday’s Northern Premier Division One fixture.
Manager Long suggests his players subconsciously might have had their minds on tomorrow’s Cup third qualifying round clash at Buxton but that did not excuse his wrath.
He will demand a reaction against the Northern Premier Bucks when Alvechurch seek a place in the fourth and final qualifying round for the first time since 1991.
The Church could also have a new face in their ranks as Long is hoping to secure the signing of a defender in time.
But one certainty is that they cannot afford to play as badly as they did against Stamford.
“We need to play at the top of our game,” said Long, who scouted Buxton, along with No 2 Richard Colwell, in their midweek defeat to Whitby. “We have to cut out the individual errors which cost us against Stamford.
“If we play like we did last week, Buxton will only need to turn up to beat us.
“They have already beaten two teams from our league in Frickley and Chasetown and I imagine they will be confident. We are the underdogs – we’re from a league below and we’re on the back of a poor result against Stamford. We’ve got to find our best form.”
Alvechurch expected to be boosted by the returns of defender Jamie Willets and midfielder Jack Cresswell for the tie at The Silverlands and they hope plenty of Church fans will join them on the trip to the Derbyshire Peak District.
Last Saturday was a certainly day to forget for Church. They fell behind on ten minutes when keeper Jasko Keranovic let slip a cross which hit defender Ash Carter to bounce into the net.
Jordan Smith made it 2-0 on 22 minutes before former Halesowen Town midfielder Henry Eze slotted a third seven minutes into the second half.
Javia Roberts gave Alvechurch hope on 67 minutes, meeting a Bekir Halil cross with a diving header into the net, but Jon Challinor and Liam Adams added late goals for the visitors.
Meanwhile, the Church are looking to get their fans more involved with the decision-making by appointing a supporters’ association representative. Contact the club for more details.
Town will be back at Lye Meadow on Tuesday – either for a Cup replay, if needed, or for a league clash with Market Drayton Town.
* Alvechurch Reserves suffered their first defeat in four games, as they lost to 2-0 to Coton Green Reserves in the Midland League Reserve Division.
Looking to go second in the table with a win, Ollie Harthill’s men struggled and went down to two second-half goals.
Corey Virgo-Broom headed over from an early chance for Church and Brad Roberts fired wide for the visitors.
But a Robert Platten free-kick which caught out keeper Dan Leach to give Coton Green the lead, and striker Curtis Haynes bundled home a second from corner to give Coton the win.
Alvechurch face Worcestershire Junior Cup action tomorrow (Saturday) when they meet Evesham United U21s at the Hayes (2pm).