PERSHORE Town boss Les Jones was delighted to see Matt Pinder’s patience rewarded with a goalscoring return to ease the loss of top marksman Nick Seabourne.
Jones admitted he was disappointed to see Seabourne, who had netted nine times in 14 appearances, depart for Midland Premier side Racing Club Warwick.
However, Pinder slotted back into the team with a hat-trick to seal the Plums’ 6-0 win at Cradley Town in Saturday’s West Midlands League Premier Division contest.
Jamie Clarke, new signing Anthony Smith and Jake Cavens also scored in Pershore’s biggest victory of the season to lift them into ninth place in the table, only two points behind third-placed Littleton.
“Matt Pinder scored a lot of goals last season but he hasn’t had that sort of success this season,” said Jones. “He has had to bide his time, but he just got on with it and then he comes in and gets a hat-trick. He needed those goals and they’ll give his confidence a real boost.”
Jones said Warwick had been on Seabourne’s trail last season and in the summer but he was disappointed to lose the forward, just when he had found a rich vein of goalscoring form.
Seabourne had played a key role in Pershore’s great escape last term after joining from Coleshill Town and Jones will not fall out with the former Droitwich Spa striker.
“Nick is a decent lad and he sees going to Warwick as the chance to go and play at a higher level of football,” added Jones. “If the situation arises, I’d always want him in my team. Would he come back in the future? You never say never.”
The focus, though, is on the here and now and Jones has strengthened the attacking options by signing Anthony Smith from Littleton.
His brother, Paul Smith, has also joined from Worcester Raiders and the powerful midfielder will be poised for his debut when Pershore meet Dudley Sports at the AIM Logistics Community Stadium on Saturday (3pm).
Jones hopes the brothers will add extra bite to the Pershore side as they look to build some momentum going into the busy Christmas period.
“If you look at the league, we are close to the promotion places and if we can put two or three wins together then we will be in the shake-up going into the Christmas period,” said Jones. “That’s the target.
“After beating Dudley Town in the cup and then Cradley, successive wins have been really good for confidence, but we need to show that on Saturday because we need to improve our home form.”
Although Clarke is unavailable, Town will have defender Shaun Griffiths back after he was absent for the Cradley game. Steve Webb is rated 50-50 after having to limp out at half-time last weekend.
Pershore had the perfect start at a Cradley side playing their first match after five Saturdays off due to the weather to take the lead after three minutes, with Pinder shooting past keeper Luke Mauldridge.
It was 2-0 on 36 minutes when Cavens controlled a cross with a neat flick and tucked home his shot.
Pershore were even quicker off the mark in the second period when Clarke smashed home an unstoppable shot after just 20 seconds.
Pinder added the fourth after breaking the offside trap on 71 minutes and he completed his hat-trick five minutes later after Cradley failed to clear a loose ball.
Clarke’s galloping run then set up Smith to mark his debut with a tap-in in the final seconds.