QUENTIN Townsend says Pershore Town’s FA Vase exit left him ‘invigorated’ by the performance, rather than annoyed by the result.
The Midland League Division One side matched higher league hosts Whitchurch Alport for 120 minutes, with Saturday’s first qualifying round clash ending 4-4.
However, it was the Shropshire side who progressed 4-3 on penalties after youngster Cameron Matthewson’s sudden-death spot-kick was saved.
Rather than being downhearted, Town manager Townsend was upbeat after the display and hopes his players will continue to improve on Saturday when Pershore entertain Stafford Town.
“Saturday was a classic cup tie,” said Townsend. “It was one of those games that is finally balanced. In extra time, either side could have won it it became a lottery in a penalty shoot-out.
“Whitchurch haven’t lost in the league but we put in a very good performance. I left the game feeling invigorated. Now we need to build on it against Stafford.”
Pershore will also be boosted by the return of Jamie Clarke to face Stafford after the striker completed his three-match ban.
The striker is set to partner Pavel Tomczak, with Michael Wright set to exit the King George V Stadium to join Littleton. Wright, a summer signing from Tamworth, has scored six in eight games but Townsend hopes Clarke will be available for another month at least as he ponders moving to the USA.
Townsend has further options up front with new recruit Callum Devlin, from Worcester City, and Mitch Butterworth, while Rhys Jacobs is back after his injury.
Both Devlin and Butterworth were on target against Whitchurch.
Danny Priest struck twice inside 12 minutes to give Pershore a shock lead but Whitchurch roared back to move 4-2 ahead six minutes into the second half after Dean Twigg (2), Neil Marley and Luke Walley netted.
But young substitutes Devlin and Butterworth levelled matters to take the time into extra-time and then penalties.
On Tuesday Pershore host Bromsgrove Sporting in the Polymac Packaging League Cup.