LES JONES stressed Pershore Town will need to build on the positivity of escaping the bottom two to kick on towards safety.
The Plums recorded their biggest league win of the season last weekend to defeat closest rivals Wem Town 4-0 away, courtesy of two goals from Nick Seabourne and one apiece from Sam Clark and Matt Pinder, and send the Shropshire side into the second relegation place.
However, boss Jones says they now face a ‘cup final’ in every one of their remaining seven matches – starting with Saturday’s trip to Cradley Town – to secure their status in the West Midlands League Premier Division.
“We are still in a big fight,” said Jones. “We think we are a better team than the league position would say but we’ve got to get the points on board to prove it.
“We’ve had to come from such a low base and it’s been a case to one step forward, one step back, one step forward but now you can see there’s a lot of positivity in the players and around the club.
“We got two more games away and then five at home to end the season and they are all cup finals. We can’t afford any negativity.
“The message is simple: we’ve got to keep it going.
“Football is a cruel mistress. Things can change quickly and we know there’s still a big task ahead.”
Last weekend’s impressive victory at Wem, who ended with nine men, followed a point at fellow strugglers Dudley Sports and, while basement side Pegasus Juniors looked doomed, only five points separate 21st-placed Wem to 15th-placed Shifnal Town.
Pershore dominated against Wem, leading 3-0 at half-time with the hosts going down to ten men before the break and then having another red-carded after the fourth goal went in.
Seabourne’s double meant he has now bagged eight in eight appearances and, while his availability remains on a week-to-week basis from first call club Coleshill Town, his finishing has provided the catalyst.
Fellow forwards Clark and Pinder also found the target at Wem, while the attacking options against top-ten side Cradley will also be boosted by Ryan Pugh, who was unavailable last week.
Worcester City winger James Baldwin also comes into contention, while Dane Aldington has completed his suspension and Jamie Smith and Andy Pawson are expected to be fit after their injury lay-offs.
Only defender Shaun Griffiths is a definite non-starter as he is away.
Pershore have also arranged a friendly next Tuesday at the Community Stadium against Upton Town (7.45pm) to run the rule over some young prospects.
Jones says several youngsters have been training with the squad and the next stage is to see them in match action. The match will also allow several players on the comeback trail to get minutes under their belts.
“We’ve got some promising young players who have been training with us but they are not ready to be thrown into a relegation battle,” said Jones. “Tuesday’s game will be an opportunity to have a look at them.”
Meanwhile, Pershore are in the process of finalising an U18s team which the club hopes will be able to play in the Midland Floodlit Youth League next season.