22nd Sep, 2020

Jones: Recovery signs evident

Liam Moakes 18th Oct, 2018

LES JONES warned there will be no quick fix in turning around bottom-of-the-table Pershore Town’s season – but they are heading in the right direction.

The new Plums manager says a comeback draw against visitors Dudley Sports last weekend – securing only their fifth point of the West Midlands League Premier Division season – followed by a Smedley Crooke Memorial Cup penalty shoot-out win against an impressive visiting Uttoxeter Town provided two performances to build on.

“It’s extremely difficult when you are bottom but the only way is up,” said Jones, who replaced Paul Harris as boss.

“We’re not Manchester United, we can’t go out and buy a new team. We’ve got to build slowly but we’ve been able to give players opportunities to come and show what they can do.

“They’ll need time to settle in but the last two results have shown there is a real spirit there.

“The most important thing is that we have stopped the losing run and are going forward.”

Jones is familiar with the West Midlands League, having spent four years in charge of Malvern Town, leading them to the top four each season. Fighting a relegation battle will be a new challenge, he admits and one that will only intensify on Saturday when they visit table-toppers Tividale, who have won 12 of 14 games so far.

“Tividale are a very strong team – they will be massive favourites to beat us but we need to be positive,” said Jones.

The positives were evident in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Dudley Sports, with Dane Aldington netting twice after Pershore had trailed 2-0 and then in the penalty shoot-out against Uttoxeter.

Two goals from recent signing Ryan Pugh, snapped up from Worcester Sunday League football, put the Plums 2-0 ahead at half-time, only for a slick Uttoxeter to level. However, Pershore prevailed 4-2 on penalties.

Pershore included new signing Jimmy Halsall, the former Droitwich skipper who is returning to football after a year out with a knee injury, with Jones suggesting two more new faces could be on board for the trip to Tividale.

“Tuesday was a great result because Uttoxeter are a really strong side, one of the best I’ve seen this season,” said Jones. “We had to really work hard in the second half but the players really showed their spirit, as they had on Saturday. Everyone can see we’re all in this together.”

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