QUENTIN Townsend insists there is no reason to panic after Pershore Town’s stuttering start to the season.
Town’s hopes of beginning the Midland League Division One campaign on a winning note vanished with back-to-back defeats to Nuneaton Griff and newly-promoted Chelmsley Town to leave them at the foot of the table.
Manager Townsend admitted he has been hugely disappointed by the two performances, especially with all the time and preparation invested in pre-season.
However, having been missing key players in the first week of the season, he says next Tuesday’s home game with Southam United will allow him to select from a full squad.
Townsend said: “It’s been frustrating. We’ve worked hard in pre-season to set out the way we want to play but all that preparation just seemed to fall out of the players’ heads.
“It’s been a massive wake-up call. Myself and Kim Casey have put so much into the six weeks in pre-season training but it seemed to have been all forgotten.
“I can’t defend the players in those two performances. Right back Steve Webb was probably the only player to come out of those games with any credit.
“But there’s no need to panic. I would say judge us in the next two or three games when we get players coming back. If we are struggling after that, then we can say we’ve got problems.”
Such was the depleted nature of the squad – with key trio Shaun Griffiths, Will Gayton and Gaz Evans all missing through holidays – that Townsend had to pull on his boots to play 90 minutes against Chelmsley at Coleshill Town on Tuesday.
Jamie Clarke had notched Pershore’s equaliser just before half time but Chelmsley ran away with the points in the second half through a Gary Turner hat-trick and a Jem Mill effort. Their 4-1 victory was even more impressive as they played more than 45 minutes with ten men.
Town created numerous chances in Saturday’s season opener at home to Griff but so did the visitors and they capitalised on their opportunities to win 3-0.
Gayton squandered two one-on-one chances for Pershore before John Russell pounced for Nuneaton ten minutes before half time. Tom Bates doubled the lead on 51 minutes and Jack Colley made it 3-0 on 73 minutes.
“Saturday was one of the strangest games I’ve been involved in,” said Townsend.
“Will Gayton missed two great chances and we could have been in charge before they scored with their first attack.
“Then we let in two howlers to leave us 3-0 down before we again had chances and could have made it 3-3.”
Turn to page 37 for full match reports.