LES JONES wants Pershore Town’s midweek cup win to be the perfect confidence boost to take into the busy Christmas period.
After two blank Saturdays, the Plums returned to action by chalking up a 4-1 victory at Cradley Town in the West Midlands League Premier Division Cup on Tuesday.
Two goals from Nick Seabourne, who also had a penalty saved, plus a first strike from the returning Jamie Clarke and one from James Baldwin secured a first win in four outings and booked a quarter-final home tie against AFC Bridgnorth.
That is for the future but the immediate priority is to revive their league form on Saturday when they head to Cradley Town.
Jones admitted it had been a far from ideal preparation for Tuesday’s game at the Aspray Arena, with Shaun Edwards delayed and Luke Gaffney and Dane Aldington missing, but they came through.
“It was a confidence-boosting win and we had to work really hard for it,” said Jones.
“The 4-1 scoreline probably flattered us but we also missed a penalty and a couple of really good chances. We defended really well and the goalkeeper Matt Gwynne played well.
“We’ve had three of the last four games called off so it was always going to be a test getting back playing.
“Dudley play on an astro pitch and playing on it week in, week out gives them a tremendous advantage. Going there midweek, getting people coming from work, travelling on the M5 and M6, it’s not the easiest preparation and we had to shorten the warm-up because we had people stuck in traffic.
“With all that, getting the win was just what we needed. Jamie Clarke got a goal in his debut, Nick could have had a hat-trick and James scored as well so the three strikers got a goal which will all do them a world of good.”
Jones, though, says Pershore cannot afford to underestimate hosts Cradley this week. Although the Hammers lie bottom with one win and nine defeats from ten league games so far, they have appointed ex-Worcester City FA Cup hero Sean Geddes as their new manager. Despite being given the job on October 20, they have yet to play a league game since then but they have added former Walsall and Redditch striker George Bowerman to their ranks.
“I’m sure Sean Geddes will bring in players and there’s always that ‘new manager bounce’,” said Jones. “It’s going to be another difficult place to go.”
Fitness updates will be needed on Aldington and Gaffney while Jake Cavens damaged his knee against Dudley and will be a doubt.
On Tuesday, Pershore moved into a 2-0 interval lead at the Aspray Arena after Seabourne headed home from a corner and Clarke collected a through-ball for a dinked finish over Dudley keeper Liam Haynes.
Seabourne made it 3-0 on 66 minutes but then had his spot-kick saved by Haynes 15 minutes from time. Jermaine Johnson replied for Dudley but Baldwin settled the contest with Pershore’s fourth late on.
AS THE OBSERVER went to press, forward Seabourne had left Pershore to join Racing Club Warwick, but the Plums were set to announce two new arrivals.
PERSHORE Town were relieved to avoid the worst of the floods after the River Avon swamped their pitches.
The downpours meant the river broke its banks and flooded the main and second pitches at the AIM Logistics Community Stadium – forcing the postponement of Saturday’s home match against Bewdley Town.
Thankfully the water did not reach the clubhouse, although manager Les Jones and volunteers had to scramble to rescue the mower from its shed.
“I went down on Friday morning to look at the pitch and within half an hour the water had come up from the second pitch and covered the main pitch. Within a few hours, it had gone but the pitch was left sodden,” said Jones.
Pershore expect the pitch to be fine for the next home game on November 30 against Dudley Sports.