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Village Features

Mid-season success for Churchmen

Posted on January 30 2018 at 12:40:45

AFC in action

Trevor Ball delivers a ‘half-term’ report as Alvechurch FC look towards promotion.

After the major success of last season, winning the Midland Football League, League Cup and JW Hunt Cup, it was with excitement and a little uncertainty that Alvechurch FC entered the 2017–18 season.

Manager Ian Long, his team and several of the players had experienced the Evo Stik Northern Premier League Southern Division with Tividale FC three seasons ago, but for Alvechurch it was a new venture.

In August the club got off to a winning start with a convincing victory against one of the pre-season favourites, Leek Town, and followed up by beating North West Counties Premier League side Hanley Town in the FA Cup.

By the end of August the club were where they wanted to be.

September was a mixed month. In the league AFC only managed one win, drew one and lost two – both defeats coming at home, to Stamford and runaway leaders Basford – but in the cups it was a different story.

In the FA Cup ’Church beat Market Drayton and higher-ranked Grantham Town away before being knocked out by another higher-ranked side, Buxton Town, 2-1 away – with Buxton equalising in the 84th minute and scoring the winner in the 95th minute.

This was the furthest Alvechurch had got in the FA Cup for 30 years. They also beat local rivals Redditch United in the Birmingham Senior Cup.

As we moved into October, AFC climbed the league with an impressive four wins from five league games, the only defeat being away at Corby. The club also started their FA Trophy campaign with two convincing away victories, beating fellow Division 1 South side Belper and Eastern Division 1 side Cambridge City.

November came and went with Alvechurch winning two and drawing one match in the league, but there were mixed fortunes in the cup competitions.

In the FA Trophy the club’s best run for 26 years was ended with a convincing home defeat to Coalville, but in the League Cup they beat Premier League team Stourbridge 4–2, having been four up at half time.

Unfortunately in the next round AFC were beaten on penalties away at another Premier League side, Stafford Rangers.

Due to inclement weather only two matches were played in December (a win and a draw). Alvechurch were also knocked out of the Worcestershire Senior Urn by Midland Football League side Lye Town on penalties.

As we go to press, Alvechurch had played three league matches in January, winning two and losing one. Both wins came courtesy of last-minute winners and the defeat was the club’s first league defeat in three months.

So all in all, it has been an excellent first half of the season. The club are in the promotion mix with games in hand over all the fellow clubs battling for one of the two automatic promotion places (although Basford are currently already 21 points clear of second).

In the two major cups ’Church had their best runs for decades, beating higher-ranked clubs in both competitions. The Birmingham Senior Cup and JW Hunt Cup are still to play for.

Should Alvechurch FC beat Rushall Olympic in the next round of the Birmingham Senior Cup they will entertain the winners of the Leamington vs West Bromwich Albion tie in the quarter final.

There have been some changes up front, as forward Nathan Waite returns from loan at Sporting Khalsa.

However, leaving the club by mutual consent is Daniel Dubidat, this season’s top scorer – including a wonder strike against Sheffield that became an internet sensation. Everyone wishes Danny all the best at Evo Stik Premier side Rushall Olympic.

*  For more info or sponsorship enquiries, please contact Trevor Ball at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or visit http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/alvechurch

FIXTURES
League games unless stated

Sat Feb 3 3pm Sheffield FC (A)
Tues Feb 6 7.45pm Leek Town (A)
Sat Feb 10 3pm Corby Town (H)
Tues Feb 13 7.45pm Carlton Town (H)
Sat Feb 17 3pm Stamford (A)
Tues Feb 20 7.45pm Frickley Athletic (A)
Sat Feb 24 3pm Peterboro Sports (H)
Sat March 3 3pm Market Drayton (A)
Sat March 10 3pm Cleethorpes Town (A)
Tues March 13 7.45pm Gresley FC (H)
Sat March 17 3pm Newcastle Town (A)
Sat March 24 3pm Spalding Utd (H)
Sat March 31 3pm Kidsgrove Athletic (A)

Above: Alvechurch in action against Chasetown FC (Photo/ Ian Macvie)


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