IAN LONG hailed Alvechurch’s midweek win against Boldmere St Michaels as a “complete performance” before demanding more of the same.
Karl Edwards smashed home four goals as the Churchmen hammered the Mikes 5-1 at Lye Meadow on Tuesday to earn a second round Midland Football League Polymac Packaging League Cup tie at Coventry Sphinx.
Manager Long saluted a hugely impressive team performance but stressed they need to keep improving, especially when they play three away matches in a row.
They visit Midland League Premier newcomers Bardon Hill on Saturday and then head to Walsall Wood on Tuesday before travelling to Shepshed Dynamo next Saturday.
“It was the complete performance on Tuesday,” said Long. “The way we passed the ball and some of the movement was really, really good. It was a pleasure to watch at times.
“We cut through Boldmere and the only disappointment was that we didn’t keep a clean sheet. It might sound like I’m moaning but I do demand a lot and it’s my job to keep pushing the players and strive for perfection.”
Edwards led the way on Tuesday, leading the line and showing his finishing skills.
The experienced striker fired home the opening goal after three minutes after Leigh Downing’s shot was parried by keeper Sean Butler.
Within three minutes it was 1-1 when Andy Lewis levelled but Downing restored the Churchmen’s lead five minutes before half time.
The hosts dominated in the second period and Edwards was unstoppable. Two goals in a three-minute spell completed his hat-trick and then Connor Deards set him up for a fourth in stoppage time.
“Karl was excellent, not just with his goals, but his link-up play was very good,” said Long. “We got the right quality to him and he probably could have scored more.”
Alvechurch, though, are still looking to bolster their attack after Nicky Turton decided to return to Chasetown.
A move for Coleshill Town’s Luke Barlone came to nothing and Long is still casting an eye over reinforcements to help Edwards and Deards.
Defender Luke Paskin, however, has turned down an approach from Lye Town and, having overcome a pre-season ankle injury, played his first competitive game for Church on Tuesday.
Danny Ashton is a new injury worry for the trip to Coalville-based Bardon Hill, who won the East Midlands League last season, after he picked up a knock on Tuesday.
Midfielder Dave Bellis is unavailable and joins Jack Cresswell (broken arm) on the absentees list, but centre back Rich Huckfield can return after missing the midweek match after his wife gave birth.
“Bardon Hill will certainly be no mugs,” said Long. “They were champions last season and, although they didn’t have a great start, they have picked up and got a few wins under their belt. It will be another tough afternoon.”
Alvechurch go into the match in seventh place having won four of their five league games so far.