19th Sep, 2020

Late cry-off leaves Pershore Town boss fuming

Evesham Editorial 14th Feb, 2019

LES JONES was left fuming after Pershore Town were left kicking their heels when the West Midlands League allowed opponents Black Country Rangers to call off their fixture last weekend.

Pershore boss Jones only found out Saturday’s match at the Community Stadium was being postponed late on Friday night because Rangers had ‘internal problems’ in fielding a side.

The weekend got worse for the second-botAtom Plums after both Dudley Sports and Wem Town won to move further away from the drop zone.

Pershore will now look to bounce back on Saturday when they head to tenth-placed AFC Bridgnorth.

Jones said: “We were bitterly disappointed not to play on Saturday, especially after we had a big effort to get the game on.

“After we had played on the Tuesday in terrible conditions, the groundsman worked two days solid to get the pitch ready.

“Then late on Friday night I got a call to say the game was off because Black Country Rangers had got dispensation not to play for seven days because of internal problems and they couldn’t get a side out.

“I only heard the news from the Malvern Town secretary, who has been helping us out with the secretarial duties. The league apparently didn’t have a contact for us.

“I wasn’t best pleased. We’d spent money getting the ground ready, getting it marked out and buying in food for the players and directors.

“It was more annoying because when we had to go to Black Country earlier in the season we didn’t have a goalkeeper. We ended up having to play a 17-year-old striker in goal and we lost 6-1 but we fulfilled the fixture.”

Pershore now lie three points behind Dudley Sports, who were 3-0 winners at basement side Pegasus Juniors, and four behind Wem, who won 2-0 at Smethwick Rangers.

They will look for a positive response on Saturday at Bridgnorth’s Crown Meadow as they seek to end a miserable away record. They have picked up just four points – one draw in November and one win in August – on the road this season but they have lost by a single goal in their last two away fixtures at Shifnal and Smethwick.

“Our away record needs to be better,” said Jones. “But going to Bridgnorth won’t be easy. They are a big, strong side and their pitch has a big slope which gives them a tremendous advantage. They win the majority of their home games so we’ve got to be prepared to roll our sleeves up and get ready for a battle.”

Pershore, meanwhile, look set to rule out experienced defender Jamie Smith for a big chunk of the run-in.

Former Worcester City and Malvern player Smith suffered a torn calf in their match at Shifnal and the latest update is he faces two months on the sidelines.

“Jamie is usually a quick healer so it’s fingers crossed, otherwise he could miss a big part of the season,” said Jones.

Striker Ryan Pugh is also a doubt for the trip to Bridgnorth after being laid low by illness this week.

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