VERSATILITY has become a necessity – and an impressive bonus – for Pershore Town boss Quentin Townsend.
Any pre-match plans ahead of last weekend’s Midland League Division One trip to Lichfield City vanished when injuries forced Town to make two changes inside the first 25 minutes.
Right back James Walker had to don the goalkeeper’s gloves after Toby Wilcox had to be substituted after a collision left him with back and rib injuries and then striker Alfie Bloomer ended up in hospital with a knee injury.
Lichfield prevailed 3-1, with Dan Getliff replying for Pershore, but Townsend felt there were plenty of positives in terms of performance, spirit and attacking threat.
“In the last three games, we’ve started with one formation and then had to change it but the players have been able to adjust,” said Townsend. “That’s a positive. We need to be versatile and to be able to change during games.
“We can swap players around in defence and midfield and we can shuffle our attack. We can play with three at the back or four so we’ve got options.
“On Saturday, we lost Toby after 20 minutes and then Alfie ended up in hospital and we were forced to make changes, but even people in the bar after the game said it was never a 3-1 scoreline.
“We had two great chances in the first half at 1-0 and we should have scored. We created chances.”
Despite the injuries, Townsend is optimistic Wilcox and Bloomer will both be fit to face Chelmsley Town on Saturday at the King George V Stadium.
Wilcox is expected to recover from his bruises and Bloomer has sprained ligaments in his knee.
Town sparked their upturn in fortunes when they chalked up a 3-1 win at Chelmsley’s Pack Meadow home in November and Townsend says they need to be positive to complete a first league double of the season.
Charlie Anagho-Ntamark was influential in the victory and Townsend is confident he is regaining his sharpness after returning to the club after a spell at Boldmere St Michaels.
“Before coming back to us a couple of weeks ago, Charlie had been on the bench for Boldmere for five games so he just needs his match fitness,” said Townsend.
“He looks a threat. He has looked really sharp in the first half, but he has tired which is to be expected.”
Against Lichfield, Pershore fell behind when a free kick was turned home by Chris Hanna and it got worse when the injured Wilcox had to be taken off.
Although stand-in Walker denied Blake Archer, the ball fell to Daniel Sheppard to tap home a second Lichfield goal.
Tom Green added a third goal to settle the hosts’ nerves.