Hednesford Town return to Keys Park this afternoon to face an in-form Alvechurch side who mathematically still have a chance of making the top five and therefore a place in the play-offs. The Pitmen will be looking for another win though as they have a chance of finishing as high as 7th in the final table with some good results to end the season. Alvechurch are in 6th place and have eight points more than the Pitmen with just four games to play so even with a home win this afternoon it is unlikely that we will be able to finish above today’s visitors.
Alvechurch’s last game saw them take the three points away from Stourbridge with a 1-0 victory that delighted their manager Ian Long, who had a short spell as manager of Stourbridge in 2019/20. He rejoined Alvechurch a month before the pandemic hit, so this is his first full season back at the helm after achieving two promotions with the club in his first spell, and they have had another great season this time around too.
Alvechurch currently play at the delightful Lye Meadow, but will eventually play at their new stadium at The Hayes, which is situated next to Birmingham City’s training ground and is four miles from their current home. Their success this season has been built mainly on their defensive record, as their 37 goals conceded in 36 games means they have the second best defence in the league, but in terms of goals scored only six teams have scored fewer goals than their 47. Their goals have been shared around the squad with 17 different goalscorers in league games and the highest those with seven goals each are strikers Danny Waldron and Tyrell Skeen-Hamilton, and playmaker Sam McLintock, who signed by National League side Halifax Town in January and then loaned back to the ‘Church to aid his development. The two clubs are evenly matched in the form table with both teams winning ten points from their last six matches.
It was all the way back in August when we played at Alvechurch and the Pitmen won their third game from three matches with a penalty scored by Andre Landell. Alvechurch have former Pitmen midfielder Jack Hallahan in their side and he started their last game against Stourbridge, along with one-time Pitmen loanee Tom Solanke.
This will be a very difficult game as Alvechurch have had an excellent season and they can still make the play-offs, but the Pitmen will be looking for a good end to a decent season themselves so it is all set up for what should be a great game at Keys Park this afternoon.