11th Dec, 2019

Church line up duo in the hunt for goals to secure promotion

Redditch Editorial 14th Mar, 2019

IAN LONG has lined up moves for Stratford Town playmaker Will Grocott and Bedworth United front-runner Levi Rowley to ensure Alvechurch are fully equipped to maintain their play-off push.

The Church manager has already challenged his forwards to come up with the goals to keep firing their top-five challenge in Southern Premier Central in a bid for a third promotion in successive seasons.

Josh March and Kieron Cook have responded with two goals apiece in the last two matches as Alvechurch have drawn at rivals AFC Rushden & Diamonds and then beaten Lowestoft Town 4-2 to move into fifth, two points off third place.

However, Long has confirmed the club has made seven-day approaches for Grocott and Rowley to boost the firepower. He will be able to speak to Grocott ahead of Saturday’s clash at home to Barwell, although finances could be a stumbling block.

“I’ve spoken a bit over the last few weeks about the need to have some more quality in the final third,” said the Church boss. “We have got in good positions but too often we have not managed to turn them into chances and into goals.

“I’ve already told the strikers I want more from them but we also need to be better in creating the opportunities.

“That’s why we’ve put in a couple of seven days. I think the way Will Grocott plays would suit us. He has been in and out of Stratford’s team lately although he did play last weekend, so it depends how he views the situation and whether we can afford him.”

Midfielder Grocott, who joined from Kettering Town, has been an influential figure for Town in the past three years and has made 39 appearances this season while powerhouse attacker Rowley, a former Walsall and Chasetown player, had been a key player in helping Bedworth win promotion last season.

Alvechurch will be looking for successive home wins on Saturday when Barwell visit Lye Meadow before Long’s men head to King’s Lynn Town, who currently lie third, on Tuesday.

Last weekend, Alvechurch were in devastating form to sink Lowestoft.

Cook finished off a smart move to fire Church ahead in the 28th minute, only for Adam Tann to quickly level, but Ash Carter headed home Tom Turton’s cross to restore Alvechurch’s lead ten minutes before the break.

March made it 3-1, lashing home from Cook’s pass, eight minutes into the second period and added number four on 65 minutes from Turton’s superb set-piece before Lowestoft had the final word through Kyle Barker’s deflected strike late on.

“We were well worth the win,” said Long. “It was nice to get a few goals as well.

“I’ve challenged Josh March, Kieron Cook and the other forwards to fire us to the play-offs. Josh and Kieron have now got two in two so hopefully that will continue.

“We need to be a bit more clinical and they took those opportunities on Saturday. We’ll need to turn those chances into goals if we want to make the play-offs.

“We’ve proved we are capable of doing that. We’ve played 32 games now and the table doesn’t lie. We are good enough, we’re in a good position but we need to keep pushing.”

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