LES JONES believes one more win can all but end Pershore Town’s relegation fears – and then he can prepare for next season.
Pershore proved they are one of the form sides in the West Midlands League Premier Division by denting Haughmond’s title aspirations last weekend with a 1-1 draw at the Community Stadium.
After the Plums had led through Matt Pinder’s penalty, the Shropshire visitors only levelled with virtually the last kick of the game.
The result meant Tividale now look favourites for the title, while Pershore, now in 15th place, entertain 13th-placed Bilston Town Community on Saturday within touching distance of guaranteeing their status.
It is a remarkable revival after Jones and No 1 Derek Doyle took over a club in freefall in October and seven points from safety.
“We’re not safe yet but I’m convinced another three points will be good enough. The performances have been fantastic in the last few months and the match against Haughmond proved that,” said Jones.
“On current form over the last six games, we would be fourth in the table, and had we been able to hold on for another 30 seconds last Saturday we would have been top!
“Haughmond needed to win and came out all guns blazing but I felt over the 90 minutes we were the better team. We were devastated to concede in the fifth minute of stoppage time and even their manager said we deserved to get the win.
“We feel we can compete with anybody in the league. We need another three points on Saturday and then we’re more or less safe.
“We can look to finish as high as we can and then start making sure we can retain the current squad and get ready for next season.”
Those plans for 2019/20 have already begun with Pershore opening their pre-season programme with home games against Stourport Swifts and Worcester City.
Last weekend, Pershore probably had the best opportunity in a close-fought opening period, with James Baldwin scooping a lob over before Nick Seabourne’s shot was parried by Haughmond keeper Sam Jones.
Pershore got the breakthrough on 76 minutes after Baldwin was brought down and Pinder converted the penalty.
However, there was another twist in injury time when Reece Taylor headed home an equaliser.
Pershore will again be without injured trio Andy Pawson, Dave Wilson and Ryan Reeves to face Bilston, but Jonathan King and Ryan Pugh come into contention after injury and holidays.