IAN Long believes there are plenty of positives to take from Alvechurch’s 2-0 defeat at Hitchin Town on the opening day of the season after his side played more than half the game with 10-men.
Church’s Yaw Ofusu received a second yellow card shortly before half time as second-half goals from Jack Snelus and Finley Wilkinson condemned the visitors to defeat at Top Field.
The result means Alvechurch sit 19th in the Southern League Premier Central table after one fixture.
Long said: “I thought we were excellent, I think everybody in the ground knows the reason we’ve lost the game, I thought we were absolutely superb, it’s a new group of lads, it’s a completely new side.
“We should have got something out of the game, we had enough chances in the first half before the sending off to be home and dry, there are loads of positives.
“We stuck at it even though it seemed like everything was against us, we looked fitter and stronger, the desire was there.
“It’s not very often I’m happy after a defeat but we played really well.”
Church were on top for much of the first half as several chances came and went with Jaanai Gordon shooting into the side netting and Adan George chipping over.
And Josh Dugmore went close to the opener on the half-hour mark with his powerful effort pushed to safety by Hitchin goalkeeper Charlie Horlock.
However, the game turned in the home side’s favour in first-half injury time when Ofufu was shown a second yellow card much to the frustration of the away dugout.
And Hitchin made the most of their numerical advantage two minutes after the interval when Snelus unleashed a superb effort past Dale Eve in the Alvechurch goal from distance.
The home side secured the points on 75 minutes through Wilkinson’s fine header from Bradley Bell’s cross.
Church showed plenty of fight but were unable to find a way through on a frustrating afternoon for the visitors.
Alvechurch are next in action at home to AFC Sudbury on Saturday, August 12 with kick-off at 3pm at Lye Meadow.