QUENTIN TOWNSEND has challenged his Pershore Town players to prove their Easter humbling was a one-off by turning the tables on three of the top teams in Midland League Division One.
The Plums manager described Saturday’s 7-2 home defeat to Paget Rangers, having conceded four goals inside the opening 20 minutes, as ‘embarrassing’.
Pershore begin a testing spell of four games in a week on Saturday when they head to Racing Club Warwick before a trip to free-scoring Heather St John’s on Tuesday and then a clash at home to title favourites Walsall Wood on Saturday, April 14. In between, they travel to basement side Coventry Alvis next Thursday.
With Warwick lying seventh, Heather in sixth and Wood top, it will be Pershore’s most demanding week of the season and Townsend says his players need to step up to the task.
“It’s going to be a tough week but we need to get the Paget game out of our system,” said Townsend. “It was a defensive horror show. How often do you kick off a game and then you’re 4-0 down after 20 minutes? I was completely bemused.
“We’ll need to be a lot better in the next few games. Racing Club are one of the best teams in the league, Heather are the second highest scorers in the league and they have got the league’s top scorer in Simeon Cobourne and then Walsall Wood are going to win the title.
“We have been on a decent run and we don’t want to be dragged back into the bottom six. That would be disappointing after how we have performed in the last few months.”
Pershore were left chasing the game against Paget after goals from Danny Carter (2), Jack Gibson and Dean Morris put the Bears 4-0 in front after 17 minutes. Although Alfie Bloomer replied for Town, Paget led 5-1 at half-time after Ross Dempster hit the back of the net.
Dempster added his second and Carter completed his hat-trick before youngster Cameron Mathewson grabbed his first goal in a Pershore shirt. It was at least something to celebrate for the 17-year-old former Cheltenham Town Academy defender who has been involved in more games than any other Town player this term.
“It was a great to see Cam get his goal. Cam has been our unsung hero,” said Townsend. “He is only 17 but he has played the most games of any player and he has never let us down.
“He’s worked hard every game. His goal summed that up when he chased down a back pass, then took the ball off the defender and slotted it under the keeper.
“If we had like 11 players like Cam, we would do alright.”
Recent signing Harry Walters made his debut on Saturday, while fellow University of Worcester player Paul McHugh was an unused substitute and they will both feature at the weekend.