Lack of striking options costly for Westfields

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First published in Sport by

A LACK of striking options at the club was the primary reason for Westfields exit from the FA Cup last weekend according to manager Shaun Edwards.

The Midland Alliance team lost 2-0 to Rugby Town at Allpay Park despite Craig Jones and Jamie Cuss both twice going close to scoring.

Edwards said: “We very disappointed to go out of the FA Cup but unfortunately without any options up front we were lacking a bit today really.

“There are no positives to take out of today, we were due a run in the FA Cup and we will never have an easier opportunity to get through."

He went on to say that the difference between the sides was the strikers.

He said: “Their lad took the only chance they had, we went through and lobbed the goalkeeper and it didn’t go in.”

The visitors, Rugby Town, play a league above Midland League Premier Division Westfields in the Southern League Division One Central and Edwards believes they we’re there for the taking.

He said: “All the reports I’ve had on them is that they’ve had an indifferent start like us and I thought we had a chance today.

“If we got the first goal we would have gone on to win the game.”

Westfields are currently lying in eighth place in their division after three wins and two defeats from their first five games.

Edwards said: “It’s probably early days for us so far, we’ve got a couple new players but I’m really happy with the players we’ve got.

“It’s just up front - if you don’t score goals you don’t win matches it’s that simple.”

He went on to say that’s he had to play defender Dene Whittal-Williams as a striker due to injuries.

He said: “To lose Dan Polan today and Rob Drag prior to the game doesn’t help and, on top of that, we lost Brad Birch on the eve of the season.

“Dene does a job and does really, really well.”

He added he has been disappointed in his attempts to sign another striker but remains in the market for a forward.

Westfields have been in the now re-named Midland Alliance for 10 years and Edwards believes that nothing less than promotion would constitute a good season.

He said: “Our only goal this season is to win the league, everything else is irrelevant.

“It’s a tough league and when only one team goes up, the team with the biggest budget goes up.”

Chief executive Andy Morris also thinks that anything less than promotion this season would be disappointing.

He said: “A good season would be promotion for us.

“We’re desperate to get out of this league as we’ve had two near misses where we’ve finished as runners up.”

Fields earned £1,500 in the previous round of the FA Cup against Gornal and Morris believes a cup run could have been financially beneficial.

He said: “A cup run would have been massively lucrative and the winner today picks up £1,925. But it’s not just the prize money, it’s the add-ons like sponsors and bar takings.

“The FA Cup to grassroots football is mammoth.”

Westfields next game is this Saturday away at Leicester-based side Quorn.

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