Alvechurch leap back into play-off places with an unbeaten run.
A recent run of great form saw Alvechurch FC move back into the play-off places – as we went to press, they were fifth in the league with a game in hand.
The only draw amid a string of wins came against Stratford in what was the sides’ sixth meeting of the season, this time a home league match. In an exciting, open encounter Alvechurch twice took the lead, but on both occasions Stratford equalised and the game ended 2-2.
This was followed by a difficult game at home to Rushall Olympic, who had the slight upper hand throughout – but it’s what you do with the possession that counts, and a 94th-minute goal by Aaron Lloyd meant that January ended on a high with a 1–0 victory for AFC.
’Church then didn’t play for two weeks due to postponements – firstly a home game against Leiston (the third time this match had been called off – it’s currently due to take place on March 12) and then an away match at King’s Lynn.
The latter was scheduled on the weekend when snow wreaked havoc in Cornwall and the south of the country. A tweet was sent from King’s Lynn on Friday evening and another on Saturday morning assuring Alvechurch that the game would definitely be on, knowing that the team coach would be leaving at 9.45am. The chairmen of both clubs also spoke at midday and still the game was definitely on.
AFC’s commercial manager – and fan – Trevor Ball takes up the story: “We set off at 11.30am by car for the 2.5-hour, 125-mile trip to north Norfolk. All was going fine until we were 10 miles south of King’s Lynn when I received a phone call from a supporter who had travelled on the coach to tell us there was going to be a pitch inspection at 2pm.
“We arrived at the ground to see the management team re-loading the coach with the kit, footballs and training gear. The referee had called the game off due to a frozen pitch.
“Obviously players’ safety is paramount, but to make the decision so late in the day, having been assured at midday that the match was definitely on, is bitterly disappointing.
“Not only did we make a five-hour 250-mile round trip for nothing, but the costs to the club, coach hire, food and drink for the players and all the hard work put in over the past week in preparation for the game has cost the club dearly.
“Plus we all have to do it all again on a Tuesday night later in the season when the players have to arrange time off work or take a half day holiday.”
The game has now been scheduled for Tuesday March 19 at 7.45pm.
Despite the two-week lay-off, Alvechurch were on top of their game when they played Bedworth United, beating them 3-0 to move back into the play-off places. Half an hour into the game ’Church took the lead after Josh March was fouled in the box and Tom Turton stepped up for the penalty.
In the sides’ previous meetings, AFC scored two goals in four minutes and they repeated this feat here, with Kieran Cook tapping home soon after the opener. Taylor Morrison scored his debut goal to seal the win with 20 minutes remaining, meaning Ian Long’s side were unbeaten in six games.
This was extended to seven with another home win against play-off rivals Biggleswade Town.
• Midfielder Aaron Birch has left Alvechurch and joined National League Northern side Nuneaton Borough. Aaron arrived at Lye Meadow at the beginning of the season but was unable to secure a first team place and decided to move on.
Goalkeeper Charlie Price has been sent out on loan to Northern Premier League Eastern side Gresley as he recovers from a back operation. With the recent signing of goalkeeper Danny Crane and the promotion of Tom Parsons from AFC Alvechurch, the loan will give Charlie valuable game time.
Two other players out on loan are Theo Llewelyn and Ryan Winwood, both to Midland Football League Premier side Romulus. Both players have been suffering with injuries and need time to build up their stamina and match fitness before being able to compete for a regular first team place.
Congratulations to central midfielder Rahis Nabi who won both the AFC supporters’ Player of the Month and Goal of the Month awards for January. The recent signing has made a big impression with his combative performances and his eye for goal from free kicks.
Goal of the month was his stunning free kick from 20 yards against Halesowen Town, which also secured a vital three points.
• For more info or sponsorship enquiries, please contact Trevor Ball at email@example.com or visit http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/alvechurch Follow the club on Twitter @Alvechurch1st
All league fixtures unless stated
Sat Mar 2 Rushden & Diamonds (A) 3pm
Sat Mar 9 Lowestoft Town (H) 3pm
Tues Mar 12 Leiston (H) 7.45pm
Sat Mar 16 Barwell (H) 3pm
Tues Mar 19 Kings Lynn (A) 7.45pm
Sat Mar 23 St Ives Town (A) 3pm
Sat Mar 30 Hitchin Town (H) 3pm
Sat Apr 6 Kettering Town (A) 3pm
Sat Apr 13 Coalville Town (H) 3pm
Sat Apr 20 Stourbridge (A) 3pm
Mon Apr 22 Banbury Town (h) 3pm
Sat Apr 27 Needham Market (A) 3pm