By Liam Moakes 30/08 Updated: 30/08 14:50
ALVECHURCH have reacted to their disappointing start to the Midland Alliance season by appointing Birmingham City's community development manager Dean Holtham as their new manager.
Holtham took over the reins from Vaughan Pearshouse with immediate effect on Wednesday and will be in charge for tomorrow's FA Vase first qualifying round tie at Midland Combination Premier Division outfit Earlswood Town.
Holtham has been manager of the Birmingham City U18 side that swept their way to the treble last season, winning the MFYL Southern Division and scoring 114 goals in the process, the Midland Floodlit League Cup and the Birmingham County Youth Cup.
An Alvechurch spokesman said: "He is keen to give the current squad their chances and does not intend to make wholesale changes initially, unless he feels it is for the benefit of the team.
"He will retain the services of Mark Whitehouse as assistant manager and coach, as he has worked with Mark before, and will also be retaining Pud Millward as club physio.
"It's all happened very quickly after initial conversations with Birmingham City, but the club are excited about the prospects and feel it's in the club's long-term best interests.
"The club would like to thank Vaughan for his contribution and wish him all the best for the future."
The change comes on the back of Monday's disappointing 2-1 loss at home to Highgate United, which followed Saturday's 4-2 defeat at Tipton Town.
Alvechurch started Monday's game positively and former Gate man Ben Judd twice went close with free kicks before Shaun Edwards saved well from Andy Nicol.
Having withstood the early storm, Gate began to make an impression of their own and in what was their first real threat of the game they took a 25th minute lead.
Ollie Casey made the initial wide pass from where Jamie Corrigan delivered the perfect cross for Dan Povey to head in from close range.
Karl King fired DJ Pitt's back-heeled pass a yard too high before Pitt himself dragged a low cross over the face of goal before Gate had Edwards to thank for keeping them in front as the keeper stood his ground to produce an excellent point blank save in a one-on-one with Ben Lund.
The half ended with Pitt again narrowly off target with a shot deflected wide as the visitors went in fully deserving their interval lead.
Edwards gathered Lewis Smith's cross at the foot of his near post as the second half began but there was little threat from a home side who were well contained and closed down by Highgate.
Pitt again went close to extending the lead but was just off target before King stung Richard Taylor's hands from long range.
The missed opportunities proved costly for Gate as Alvechurch levelled in the 70th minute when Daley Cameron drilled the ball through a crowd of players and into the bottom corner.
Gate were in no mood to surrender though and they scored the winner five minutes later when impressive substitute Sean Ellis evaded two tackles and fired a low drive well beyond Taylor's reach.
Alvechurch battled hard at Tipton but defensive frailties cost them and they went away empty-handed despite two goals from Elliot Nash.
Nash levelled midway through the first half with a neat far post finish from Judd's cross and then reduced the visitors' arrears to 3-2 halfway through the second half with a penalty following a foul on Joe Wright, but that was as good as it got for Alvechurch.
Alvechurch, who are 19th with four points from six matches, are scheduled to visit Stratford Town on Tuesday.
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