By Liam Moakes 08/03 Updated: 15/03 10:09
ALVECHURCH'S four-match winning streak in the Midland Alliance was ended by high-flying Gresley who clinched a 2-0 victory at Lye Meadow on Tuesday, but there was no disgrace in defeat for the hosts whose performance perhaps merited further reward to build on Saturday's 2-0 home win over Stratford Town.
Despite the disappointment of defeat though, Alvechurch can take great heart from another week of valiant performances as they prepare for tomorrow's tricky looking visit to seventh placed Rocester, who have taken an impressive 35 points from 15 home games.
Then comes a golden opportunity for Alvechurch to bag three precious points when they visit rock-bottom Willenhall Town on Tuesday in what on paper begins a favourable run of fixtures for Alvechurch, who sit just a point behind fourth bottom Studley with a game in hand.
On Tuesday Alvechurch made a bright start against a Gresley side keen to hit back from their shock weekend loss to Studley and in-form winger Elliot Nash burst down the left before cutting inside to fire a strike at goal which was saved by Gresley keeper Gary Hateley.
Nash threatened again midway through the half but this time his effort went well wide of the far post and it was the visitors who took the lead soon afterwards when James Jepson's cross from the left was slammed home by Rob Spencer.
The match was evenly contested from then on although Gresley had the clearer sightings of goal and saw centre back Jamie Barrett head against the post from a corner before Alvechurch mounted a late rally to earn a share of the spoils.
They could and perhaps should have done seven minutes from time when Nash - now operating on the right - flew down the wing past Jordi Gough and sent over an inviting cross for substitute Keith Rostill but the big striker, with time to pick his spot, contrived to fire well wide.
Gresley then wrapped up victory when Royce Turville fed Marc Goodfellow and he curled a sublime 22-yard strike into the top corner.
Saturday had seen Alvechurch win their fourth match in succession thanks to a brace from the impressive Nash against Stratford.
Nash got the ball rolling in the third minute with a routine finish at the far post following a cross from David Kalonji and also spurned a fine chance to double his and side's tally just before the break when he blazed over from close range.
The biggest talking point of the match was the horror injury to Town's Joss Holford a quarter of an hour from full time which led to the match being delayed for 40 minutes.
At one stage an abandonment looked a possibility as the players waited for the ambulance to arrive, but eventually Holford was taken to the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch with what was at the time a suspected broken ankle.
Thankfully, it has since been revealed this is not the case but Holford still faces a lengthy spell out of action after suffering tendon and ligament damage.
His early exit from the match reduced a Stratford side which had used all three substitutes to ten men and within moments Nash put the outcome beyond doubt with his second goal when he latched on to Andy Nicol's through ball before coolly beating advancing Town keeper Richard Morris.
Town's misery was complete shortly afterwards when Ricky Baker was forced to hobble off, leaving the visitors to finish with nine men.
REDDITCH United have pulled off a tremendous coup
ALVECHURCH'S surge towards Midland Alliance survival has well
STUDLEY will have to earn silverware the hard
KINGS NORTON won a thrilling encounter 24-22 against
COOL-headed Jon Critchlow held his nerve to slot home a ...
STRATFORD & District Airgun League leaders Wilmcote secured a 228-217 ...
Aylesbury 36 Stow 0 Southern Counties North THE SCORELINE reflects ...