LES JONES has stressed Pershore Town need to end a memorable 2019 with two victories to set them up for a new year promotion challenge.
The Plums manager says nothing less than six points has to be the target when they head to Dudley Town in Saturday’s West Midlands League Premier Division fixture before they face neighbours Littleton in a Boxing Day (3pm) derby at the AIM Community Stadium.
Last weekend’s home game against Wolves Casuals was postponed, leaving Pershore 11th in the table but only four points behind fourth-placed Darlaston, who took the points in the Plums’ last outing.
“We were devastated to lose at Darlaston, because we would have been sitting in fourth if we had won up there,” said Jones
“We’ve got two games coming up now and we need to take six points and that would push up right on track for the top four which has been our aim.
“We had so many players missing against Darlaston but nearly everyone is back now.”
Striker Jamie Clarke will be available for Saturday after work commitments and midfielder Dane Aldington is also expected to end a five-week injury lay-off. Midfielder Luke Gaffney will face a fitness test and Jordan Hayward is expected to be fit for the Boxing Day clash.
This time last year Pershore were scrapping for survival before embarking on the great escape under Jones and No 2 Derek Doyle but now they want to build up momentum to challenge for promotion.
Dudley lie sixth and Littleton sit one point behind them on 23 points, two ahead of Pershore.
The Plums were 4-1 winners on their last visit to Dudley Town, who ground-share at Sporting Khalsa’s artificial pitch, in a Premier Division League Cup tie a month ago.
“It’s going to be a tough game. We beat them 4-1 in the cup but the scoreline flattered us,” said Jones. “Matt Gwynne played really well in goal and we took our chances.
“Before the Darlaston game, we were hitting form, with three wins on the bounce, scoring 13 goals and with three clean sheets. The frustrating thing against Darlaston was that even having six players out we were the better side in the first half.”