Alvechurch 2-2 Stratford Town
By Lewis Glennon
Church concede late to draw
Alvechurch extended their unbeaten run to four games, but conceded a late goal to draw an entertaining game with Stratford Town.
In the side's sixth meeting of the season, Ian Long's side looked to have earnt a fourth win in a row through Lee Chilton's fifth goal for the club, but Stratford captain James Fry struck with eight minutes remaining to earn Stratford a point.
Alvechurch started off quickly and soon created chances. The returning Mitch Botfield made a strong driving run which ended with his shot hitting the post, before Stratford keeper Ross Etheridge scrambled the ball away from the lurking Kieran Cook.
Botfield was looking lively and got on the end of Rahis Nabi's free-kick, but headed just wide of the post, while Josh March had his shot blocked on the line following a corner. Stratford responded with Kynan Isaac's free-kick stinging the hands of Dan Crane; with the re-bound hitting off Nabil Shariff and going wide of the post.
With the half coming to a close Botfield again headed wide off the post before Alvechurch took the lead. Just as he did in Church's last home game against Halesowen Town; Nabi stepped up to curl in a free-kick and give Alvechurch a half-time lead.
In the second half however, it was the visitors turn to create chances. Isaac did well to pull the ball back to Lewis Wilson who fired wide, while Wilson Carvalho's free-kick was easily dealt with by Crane.
The visitors did equalise though. A long free-kick into the box reached defender Chris Cox who rose highest to header past Crane. However, they were not level for long with Church soon retaking the lead.
Josh Ezwele went on a strong run and found March who used good skill to beat his man before his low cross across the face of goal found Chilton who fired Alvechurch in front.
Stratford continued to push forward but couldn't get a shot away until the ball fell to Fry in the box, and he slotted it past Crane. Stratford then had two late chances to win it with Cox heading wide off the post and Shariff being denied by Crane.
The draw was a fair result and means that the club's battles from the season remains' a stalemate with two draws, and two win's each for both side's. The point moves Alvechurch up to sixth in the league table just two points outside the play-off places, ahead of Saturday's game with Rushall Olympic.