ALVECHURCH have snapped up striker Ethan Jones ahead of Saturday’s crunch clash at home to Kings Langley.
The 21-year-old powerhouse, who came through the ranks at Shrewsbury Town, has joined from Halesowen Town as Church look to return to winning ways.
Last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at title contenders Banbury United was a fifth loss in succession in all competitions but they continued the defence of the Worcestershire Senior Cup with a penalty shoot-out win away to Worcester Raiders on Monday.
Interim boss Dean Holtham will hope to build on that 4-2 shoot-out win which followed a 1-1 draw – taking them into the semi-finals – when Kings Langley visit Lye Meadow.
Alvechurch sit one point above the bottom three and five points behind Langley, who occupy 14th place.
Dudley-born Jones, who has also had spells at Tranmere Rovers, Southport, Stourbridge and Newtown, will come into contention to face a Langley side who have not won in five matches since beating Redditch at the start of the month.
Yeltz boss and former Church manager and player Paul Smith said: “Ethan has had a stop-start time with us with a number of niggling injuries. He is now back fit but the form of our strikers means he is finding game time hard to come by. We wish him all the best at Church.”
On Saturday, Alvechurch seemed set to end their five-match losing run, only for second-placed hosts Banbury to snatch an 88th-minute winner.
Church had to ride their luck at times but, after Kyle Perry had equalised on 70 minutes to cancel out Banbury’s 29th-minute opener, they had the better of the chances.
The equaliser came against the run of play when Jamie Willets nodded a corner back across goal and Perry nodded the ball past keeper Jack Harding.
Alvechurch sensed a winner as Harding produced a brilliant stop to deny Jordan Goddard and then Javia Roberts had an effort ruled out for offside.
However, Banbury pounced two minutes from time when a quick free kick move between Connor Roberts and Giorgio Rasulo caught the visitors snoozing and Jaanai Gordon stepped inside from the left-hand side of the area and shot low past keeper Joe Slinn.
Finley Thorndike almost grabbed an equaliser in stoppage time but his shot curled away past the United goal.
Banbury had set their stall out early on in the contest. Slinn had to be alert to nick the ball off Claudio Dias and Morgan Roberts and John Mills also threatened for the Puritans before Rasulo opened the scoring – taking the ball on the left and switching side to fire home from 25 yards via the post.
Meanwhile, former boss Ian Long’s return to Church with Stourbridge has been called off again. Tuesday’s rearranged league clash has been postponed because the Glassboys have an FA Trophy replay at South Shields. It has been scheduled for Tuesday, January 21.