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Westfields need to stop the rot after Midland Alliance defeat by Alvechurch
3:00pm Thursday 12th September 2013 in Sport
WESTFIELDS suffered another loss in the Midland Alliance to make it eight games without victory.
Last weekend they fell 1-0 to Alvechurch in which assistant coach Dan Connor said: “It was probably our worst game this season in terms of creating chances.
“In other games we’ve dominated and not put our chances away but today we were poor.
“If we’re honest, we’ve been struggling to find the net from day one,” added the former Hereford United coach. “People played well in patches over the 90 minutes but not consistently through.
“It’s disappointing as other teams have probably raised their standards coming into this season whereas we haven’t with losing some quality and continuity from key players,” added Connor.
“We have to stop this rot and need to be consistently better all over the pitch.”
Fields manager Sean Edwards said: “Today is the first day where I’ve got no complaints with the result.
“In previous games we’ve been the better side but today we didn’t deserve it.”
Alvechurch dominated the early exchanges and almost opened the scoring in the third minute when Karl Fellows slipped in Jamie Spencer who fired a weak shot at Matt Gwynne.
Max Loverridge then fizzed a 30-yard effort wide and was proving to be a real handful with another long-distance shot saved before whipping a dangerous ball across goal.
Aidan Thomas was back in the Fields team and tested Alvechurch’s Liam Maher, firing a shot on the turn.
Joel Edwards returned while regaining some match fitness away from Hereford United, and set up Jamie Cuss to lob over the keeper from a tight angle, only to be cleared off the line.
A tidy one-two between Thomas and Craig Jones saw the latter’s shot sliced wide but the away side took the lead when Loverridge found Lewis Wright, who shook off his marker to fire past Gwynne.
Wright had another great opportunity but was thwarted by the challenge of Gareth Thomas and the resulting corner saw Guy Clark’s header cleared off the line.
After the break, Thomas fired over for Fields before Loverridge twisted and turned to create a curling effort over the bar.
Gwynne was called into action again to deny Spencer before Alex O’Leary had a shot saved at the near post for Fields.
Josh Hunt came on for the injured Thomas on the hour-mark as the hosts pushed for an equaliser.
Their surge for a goal opened the game up, as the visitors counter-attacked, forcing Gwynne into several excellent saves to deny Fellows, substitute Jazz Luckie, and Wright twice, who should have put the game to bed.
The loss means Fields now slump to 16th in the table while Alvechurch go level on points at the top with Highgate United.
l WESTFIELDS manager Sean Edwards feels that his side’s poor start to the season has a lot to do with the loss of key players.
“Losing Joel Edwards and Sam Gwynne has been a big factor,” said Edwards.
“We are also missing Richard Kear because of the chances he gets and the goals he scores.
“Goalscorers win matches and we lost him at the end of last year with three games to go and how do you replace your top striker?”
Westfields haven’t won in eight matches now and their manager added: “We’ve been in a tricky period like this before where once you’re losing, it’s a difficult habit to get out of.
“But we aren’t scoring goals and taking our chances. If you’re not scoring goals, you’re not winning matches and you’re putting pressure on your defenders.
“The target is just to win the next game,” said the manager, who has guided Fields to two second-placed finishes in the last two seasons. “We had a similar start last year and all of a sudden something clicked and we went 28 games undefeated but we are a long way from doing that at the moment and just to score a goal would be nice.
“It’s tough to carry on after coming so close and not getting the promotion the last two years but the players and the challenge are what keep me going.
“I always like the challenge and I like the current one as I’ve got to turn it around again,” admitted Edwards.
“We should be promoted by now and the criticism is of the FA and the hierarchy.
“Last season it changed from three going up, to top two and then when we got to the point of rallying the players and going for it and spending every hour God sends to play 28 games in eight weeks, we finished second only to be told we weren’t going up.
“It’s hard to take and to get the boys going again,” added the boss.
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