22nd Sep, 2020

Rivals' compliments give Pershore boss much cause for optimism

Liam Moakes 28th Mar, 2018

QUENTIN TOWNSEND believes the encouraging words of their rivals are proving Pershore Town are creating their own footballing identity.

The Town manager says the final month of the season will be the chance to keep building the positive style of play which again tested one of the Midland League Division One big boys to the limit at the weekend.

The Plums raced into a 2-0 lead at Hinckley AFC, who had won their previous five games, only for the Knitters to battle back to secure a 3-2 success.

Townsend was frustrated Town could not hold on to a winning position – after Charlie Ntamark and Jack Downing both scored – but he is not going to change the approach as they prepare for a frantic Easter spell of six games in 12 days.

They entertain Paget Rangers on Saturday at the King George V Stadium before a spell of four away games in a row. After Easter Monday’s trip to Studley, they visit Racing Club Warwick next Saturday, then Heather St John’s next Tuesday before a rearranged trip to Coventry Alvis on Thursday, April 12.

“The result at Hinckley was frustrating but I wasn’t disappointed with the performance,” said Townsend. “We led 2-0 and were great for the first half but they have got the strength in depth to make changes.

“It was a shame we couldn’t hold on but I think we again proved we don’t fear anyone.

“The Hinckley gaffer and their skipper said after the game that no-one had come to their place and played the football we did. They knew they had been in a game. It’s great to hear those compliments.

“We’re creating our own way to play and it’s a learning curve but we’re going to be sticking with those principles.”

Pershore will be hoping they can keep striker Ntamark involved. It had seemed he would be heading off to Bedworth United but, as he is on a dual registration with the Evo-Stik Northern South promotion-chasers, he could feature for Pershore when not required by the Greenbacks.

He scored the opener at Hinckley, slotting home from 35 yards after Knitters keeper Carl O’Neill scuffed his kick, and then combined with Ben Lane to set Downing scampering down the right to finish smartly.

“If Charlie isn’t going to be playing for Bedworth, then it makes sense that he plays for us,” said Townsend. “He was man of the match for us last weekend. Hinckley couldn’t handle him.

“It’s better for him to be in the spotlight with us, rather than sitting on the bench for Bedworth.”

Strike partner Downing has also blossomed alongside Ntamark and Townsend suggested the young first-year academy loanee from AFC Telford United could be part of their plans for next season.

“We’ve kept Telford’s academy boss updated with Jack’s progress and he says he can see how he has improved playing in men’s football,” said the Pershore boss. “He’s only 17 but he has worked well with Charlie. It’s helping his experience.

“I’ve already asked if we can have him on loan next season and they are agreeable to the idea.”

Downing, however, is a doubt for the clash with Paget after he damaged ankle ligaments at the weekend.

Chris Bright is likely to miss out due to his futsal commitments but James Turk and Oli Manoochehri are both back available.

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