QUENTIN Townsend will urge his Pershore Town players to seize an unexpected reprieve in the FA Vase and to erase ‘one of the worst performances’ in his time as manager.
Town had bowed out of the Vase after a dramatic penalty shoot-out at Whitchurch Alport on September 10 but it has since transpired the Shropshire hosts had fielded an ineligible player.
They have been thrown out of the competition and Pershore, having been reinstated, will now travel to Highgate United on Tuesday in the second qualifying round. The winners will then visit Rushden & Higham in the first round on October 21.
However, boss Townsend warned his own players are running out of reprieves with their Jekyll and Hyde performances after the midweek defeat to Bewdley Town which ended their hopes in the Worcestershire Senior Urn.
Despite going ahead through Jamie Clarke’s goal, Pershore were swept away by Phil Mullen’s West Midlands League Premier Division hosts. Pavel Tomczak bagged a late reply for Pershore but they were dumped out 5-2.
“We can’t have any complaints about the result,” said Townsend. “It was one of the worst performances in my time as manager of Pershore Town. It was very disappointing.
“We’re such a Jekyll and Hyde side. I’ve got to do something and if that means a shake-up then so be it.
“I’m not going to go through the same trials and tribulations we had last season. I think I’ve got some good players but maybe I’m bigging up the players too much because I keep getting let down by too many of them.”
Pershore, who lie fifth from bottom in the table, return to action in Midland League Division One on Saturday when they head to Uttoxeter Town, who lie one point better off.
Then attention will turn to the Vase tie at Midland Premier side Highgate when Pershore will be the underdogs.
“It’s an opportunity we did not think we would get,” said Townsend. “It’s something that came completely out of the blue.
“We got a call from the FA last Friday to say Whitchurch had fielded an ineligible player, one of their subs who had come on. There was an investigation and, although they didn’t do it deliberately, they had broken the rules.
“Highgate are another team playing above us and they are a strong side but it’s an unexpected bonus for us.”
Town are still without the unavailable Steve Webb but midfielder Ben Lane could be involved for the first time this season after a hamstring injury cut short his pre-season.