23rd Sep, 2020

Strikers on the wishlist as Church eye a recovery

Redditch Editorial 16th Jan, 2020

MANAGER Dean Holtham is hoping to complete moves to add a couple of new strikers to Alvechurch’s squad as they prepare for two home games in succession.

Church were again left frustrated last weekend after losing 2-1 at Barwell but Holtham says they need to build on the positives to face Hednesford Town on Saturday (3pm) and boost their survival fight in Southern Premier Central.

Stourbridge are then the visitors on Tuesday when former boss Ian Long, plus the bulk of last season’s Alvechurch squad, return to Lye Meadow for the first time.

Holtham felt it was a familiar story at Barwell, with Alvechurch impressing in the first half, only for missed chances and defensive lapses conspiring to send them to defeat.

“Results in the last few weeks haven’t mirrored our performances,” said Holtham. “The first half against Barwell was the best 45 minutes since I’ve been back at the club.

“We’ve played well in most games and taken the lead, but then we’ve made silly mistakes and suddenly the opposition are back in it.”

Church looked well placed for only their fifth league win this season with a deserved 1-0 lead at their Leicestershire hosts last weekend, only for midfielder Mitch Botfield to be sent off on the stroke of half-time.

Two goals in 60 seconds late on then snatched victory for Barwell to leave Church third from bottom in the table, albeit with four games in hand on the teams they are sandwiched by.

“Mitch was disappointed with himself – he felt he let his team-mates down,” said Holtham. “If we had kept 11 on the pitch, it’s a different result.

“But we’re all in this together and we’ve got to stick together. The players believe and I believe and it’s a question of continuing to work hard, on the pitch and in training, and improving the squad.

“We are looking at bringing in a couple of forwards, hopefully for the weekend, and the squad does need to be bigger because we do have a lot of games in hand. We’ve got a lot of football to play.”

Alvechurch have added to their ranks by drafting in Knory Scott on loan from Kidderminster Harriers and Orlando Joao from Market Drayton Town. Taylor Morrison has also returned, although an Achilles injury is set to rule him out on Saturday.

Church were rewarded for a bright start at Barwell with a goal on five minutes, defender Ryan Wollacot heading home a Lewis Wright corner for his first goal for the club.

Holtham’s men were on top, with Kyle Perry having an effort chalked off for offside and home keeper Max Bramley saving from Perry, Wright, but the game turned in first half stoppage time when Botfield collected a second booking to be sent off.

Barwell were in the ascendancy but Church keeper Joe Slinn and his defence kept them out until 15 minutes from time.

Declan Towers headed home an equaliser from Jac Redhead’s free kick and moments later Kai Williams fired home the winner but Church had a late chance to level, only for Louis Monaghan to head over.

Meanwhile, Church have rescheduled their home game against Kings Langley, which was postponed on Tuesday, for Tuesday, February 18.

The home fixture against Coalville Town will now be played on February 25, with the initial January 28 date called off because Town have county cup commitments.

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