QUENTIN TOWNSEND admits Pershore Town will be heading into the relative unknown as they kick off a run of four home games in the next five.
Hinckley AFC are the visitors on Saturday in Midland League Division One to start a sequence at the King George V Stadium which includes fixtures against neighbours Littleton, Brocton and Bolehall Swifts, plus a trip to Coventry Alvis.
Town boss Townsend fully expects a tough game against the Knitters, who lie sixth in the table, but they have undergone a radical change in personnel after Richard Lavery was appointed boss.
Three debutants made their debut for Hinckley in their 6-2 midweek victory at Paget Rangers and such an array of new faces means a completely different challenge to previous meetings when Carl Abbott was manager.
Abbott, who had been in charge for three-and-a-half years since the phoenix club was formed, left in October before Dale Belford had a short stint as boss and then long-time player Lavery was appointed.
“There have been a few changes since ‘Abbo’ left and a lot of new players coming in over the past few weeks so we don’t know really what to expect,” said Townsend. “But Hinckley are one of the big clubs in the league and they are always strong. They’ll have some good players.
“But we’ve shown we can raise our game against the better sides in the league. We’ve proved that when we beat Leicester Road earlier in the season. It was a result that made people sit up and take notice of us.”
Pershore expect to have a full squad available to face the Knitters although Townsend will be barred from the dug-out.
He was an unused substitute in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Coventry Copsewood but was sent to the stand after angry words with the referee.
The Pershore boss was far from impressed with the official, particularly for letting a Copsewood defender escape with a yellow card when he brought down Alfie Bloomer as the last man.
“I thought the referee was weak, he was poor and he got some of the major calls in the game massively wrong,” added Townsend. “The decision not to send off their player was a game-breaker.
“I think a draw would have been a fair result for both sides. It was a mudbath of a pitch and we defended well for long periods but we made one mistake and that cost us a goal.”
Lawrence Rawlings bagged the only goal, scoring with five minutes left.