Romans’ boss admits his side underachieved
Alcester Town manager Aaron Blackwood admits his side have underachieved this season in spite of a top five finish in Division Two of the Midland Football League.
The Romans made it seven wins out of nine with their 2-1 defeat of visitors Inkberrow on Monday and were due to play their final home game against title-chasing Knowle last night [Wednesday] before completing their season at Hampton on Saturday.
“We have underachieved for what we wanted to do as a group,” Blackwood said. “We are open and honest about that and admit we have been way off where we wanted to be. Coventry Rangers, Knowle and Sutton have had very good seasons.
“The club is ambitious and want to get promoted to step six football. We are confident that we are more than capable of putting a group together to achieve that. This is a difficult league to get out of but we will go again next season, adding one or two as we have at the tail end of this season.
“There have been a lot of things put in place behind the scenes to make promotion happen to the next stage so we have to hold our hands up saying we have underachieved with the group we have.”
Against Inkberrow, it took a triple substitution at the break to turn around Alcester’s fortunes after they trailed to a well-worked George Robbins effort ten minutes before half-time.
Josh Westwood finally had the Romans’ first shot on target a minute into the second period and it was the midfielder who hauled his side level on 51 minutes with a thundering drive beyond Berrow keeper Max Court.
Alcester went close to adding a second when Jimmy Ward let fly only to be denied by a smart save before skipper Ricardo Richards secured all three points from the penalty spot after he had been tripped.
Blackwood added: “We knew it was going to be a difficult game because they [Inkberrow] have gone on a good run recently. They have loads of young lads with loads of energy and they deserved to be in the lead at the end of the first half. We’d had plenty of the ball but didn’t do anything with it.
“We made three changes for the second half because we’ve had a lot of games in a short space of time and ultimately those changes paid dividends. We’ve been playing Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday for the past couple of weeks along with many other teams plus you have lads at this level who like to play Sunday football so we have had to rotate.
“It was Westy’s [Josh Westwood] first game for us and he was quality. His link-up play was good and his finish was superb. It was his first game at this level for a little while.”