By Liam Moakes 09/08 Updated: 09/08 15:15
ALVECHURCH boss Vaughan Pearshouse declared himself pleased with his side's second half performance as they battled their way to a 1-1 draw against newly-relegated Stourport Swifts in the Midland Alliance on Tuesday.
The point was Alvechurch's first of the season after a 2-1 loss at Boldmere St Michaels in Saturday's opener, despite taking a first half lead through Andy Nicol.
Now off the mark, Alvechurch can look forward with optimism to tomorrow's FA Cup extra preliminary round tie at Norton United.
Of Tuesday's draw against Swifts, Pearshouse told the club's website: "In a nutshell the first half was scrappy, with too many misplaced passes and players struggling to adjust to our formation and the way we wanted it played.
"The second half was a vast improvement with players keeping our shape a lot better, which in turn produced some neat passing movements.
"I thought Stourport edged the first half slightly with not that many clearcut chances but they kept the ball better, but in the second half we were far stronger and looked like we might go on and take all three points.
"Daley Cameron and Dean Morris were the pick of the defenders, new captain Michael McGrath showed a lot of composure on the ball, Luke Dugmore and George Curry competed well in midfield, whilst Nicol, Michael Woolman, Elliot Nash and substitute Joe Wright gave their defence a busy evening."
Swifts took a 52nd minute lead with a sweeping attacking move which ended with a neat finish from Rory Curtis.
However, the hosts deservedly levelled when Nicol lashed an opportunistic 25-yard strike home in fine style.
Nicol had put Alvechurch ahead at Boldmere on Saturday with a neat back-heeled finish in the seventh minute but the Mikes hit back with two goals after the break.
The visitors' woes were then compounded when Nicol was sent off for a second bookable offence eight minutes from time.
Unless tomorrow's FA Cup tie requires a replay, Alvechurch will visit Stratford Town in the league on Tuesday.
STUDLEY began their Alliance campaign with an excellent 1-0 home victory over a much-fancied Coventry Sphinx, but were beaten 2-0 at Bridgnorth Town on Tuesday.
The Bees are also in FA Cup action tomorrow with a tough looking tie at Midland Combination Premier Division title favourites Bloxwich United.
If there is no need for an FA Cup replay, Studley will host Tividale in the league on Tuesday.
Boss Lee Knight was delighted with his side's display on Saturday, in which new striker Myron Semper - who has previously played for Redditch United - bagged the winner.
Despite the setback at Bridgnorth on Tuesday, Knight is sure the Bees can prosper this season, especially as they are under no pressure to challenge at the top end of the table.
"We've got the basis of a good side here and we know what our ambitions are," said Knight.
"We'll go about our business as positively as we can and hopefully do ourselves justice."
FECKENHAM began their Midland Combination Division One season with a home match against Droitwich last night (Thursday) and are in league action this Thursday coming (6.10pm) at home to Archdale 73.
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