Alvechurch are challenged to maintain fine momentum - The Redditch Standard
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16th Aug, 2022

Alvechurch are challenged to maintain fine momentum

Liam Moakes 26th Nov, 2015 Updated: 18th Oct, 2016

IAN LONG has challenged his Alvechurch players to remain unbeaten until the new year – through the toughest spell of matches so far this season.

The Lye Meadow manager believes if they can extend their current seven-match winning run into 2016 they will be handily placed for league and cup glory.

The Churchmen, having booked a last 32 FA Vase tie at Walsall Wood after Saturday’s 2-1 victory at AFC Bridgnorth, return to their pursuit of Midland League Premier pace-setters Hereford on Saturday when they entertain Rocester.

Then they begin a run of six successive away fixtures, starting with a Polymac Packaging League Cup tie at Coventry Sphinx on Monday.

“After Saturday, we won’t be back at home until New Year’s Day so it’s going to be a really tough spell,” said boss Long. “December is a really important period for us.

“We need to come through unscathed and if we do then we will be in a really strong position to push on.”

Long, though, admitted his side were “lucky” to progress through their Vase second round tie at West Midlands Premier high-flyers Bridgnorth.

Bridgnorth struck first, with Anwar Olugbon netting on 35 minutes after escaping his marker, before two goals in as many minutes rewarded a much-improved second half show from the visitors.

Josh March fired home after a poor clearance to level on 57 minutes and then Karl Edwards converted a looping shot after a good move involving Leigh Downing and Dave Bellis.

Jack Wilson thought he had levelled for Bridgnorth in the final seconds, only to be ruled offside.

“We were lucky, if I’m honest,” said Long. “The pitch was a real leveller with the slope and a very heavy surface. They dealt with the conditions better than us and I would have settled for a replay.

“I said it wasn’t good enough at half time and we had to be better in the second half.”

The Churchmen will now visit fellow Midland Premier side Walsall Wood in the last 32 on December 12.

It will be a fourth away draw in the non-league minnows’ own FA Cup and Long admits it will be another massive test.

“They are a good side and they had a great run in the Vase a couple of years ago to reach the quarter-finals, so they obviously love the competition,” said Long.

Church, who will be without the unavailable Downing against Rocester, are still looking to add to their attacking options and hope to follow up an approach next week.

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