QUENTIN TOWNSEND has been reunited with international duo Oli Manoochehri and Chris Bright to help Pershore Town climb the Midland League Division One table.
Manoochehri, who plays for the England Deaf team, and Bright, who plays futsal – a form of five-a-side – for Wales, both played for Town player-boss Townsend at previous club Southam United, while Bright had also played with him and under him at Pershore.
With Town still having to chop and change players – Townsend had only 12 players including himself last week – the extra numbers will add to the options. The duo will bring experience and versatility, although neither are set to be available to face hosts Nuneaton Griff on Saturday in a ‘must-win’ at the Pingles.
Striker Manoochehri marked his debut with a goal in Town’s excellent 4-1 win against Coventry Copsewood but is away for an England training session while Bright is close to making a return after a broken metatarsal which has kept him sidelined so far this season.
“After Charlie Ntamark went to Boldmere and Pawel Tomczak joined Coventry Sphinx, we needed another striker and I’ve known Oli for 15 years or so, taking him to Southam when we reached two cup finals,” said Townsend.
“Chris was with me at Southam as well, after we played together at Pershore. He is such a versatile player that he can play so many different positions on the right or the left.”
Townsend would be delighted if both players could have the same sort of impact as recent additions Alfie Bloomer, Kyle Turner, Dan Getliff, Terrence Morton and Harrison White. They have helped spark a vital turnaround as Pershore have chalked up seven points from the last possible nine.
Cup defeats to Bilston Town Community and then a 3-2 midweek loss at home to Bewdley Town – another West Midlands League Premier side – have failed to dent the belief at the King George V Stadium that they can turn the corner.
On Saturday, Dean Waldron headed home a pinpoint cross from Bloomer before Manoochehri tucked away a second, but visitors Copsewood replied with a goal and then Pershore keeper Toby Wilcox saved a penalty to prevent an equaliser.
Instead Bloomer added a third with a perfectly judged header and Morton skipped clear to make it 4-1.
The result was even more pleasing for Townsend after his pre-match plans were thrown in disarray by last-minute absences.
“At quarter past one I was sitting in the dressing room with Shaun Griffiths (player-assistant) to finalise the team and we had 12 players including me,” said Townsend. “We had to shuffle things around but every single player worked their nuts off and everything fell into place.”
On Tuesday, Pershore’s last hopes of silverware this term vanished when Bewdley progressed 3-2 in the Worcester Royal Infirmary Cup. After Bewdley led 2-0, Getliff replied with a smart finish after Turner headed into the danger area and then Turner scrambled home to make it 3-2.
Steve Webb, Griffiths and Waldron missed the midweek game and will come into contention for the trip to Nuneaton, who lie second from bottom.
“Going to Griff on Saturday is another game we simply need to win and our league form in the past couple of weeks has shown we can go there full of confidence,” added Townsend.