Shropshire Star

Alvechurch v Telford - Match preview

AFC Telford United boss Kevin Wilkin is expecting Alvechurch’s pitch to level the playing field this weekend.


The surface at Lye Meadow has suffered during the winter months, making it a far cry from what Telford are used to at New Bucks Head.

And while the league table suggests the Bucks will travel to Worcestershire as strong favourites, Wilkin is expecting a tough game against an in-form side.

“I think, with the greatest respect, their surface is not at the level that we’re used to, certainly at home,” the Bucks boss said. “Listening to people, and obviously we’ve had them watched, the surface can be a challenge.”

Despite the problems the pitch may bring, Wilkin is adamant that he will not be using it as an excuse.

“When you go away from home you have to roll your sleeves up and that’ll be a part of the challenge that we face,” he said. “It’s important to understand what the challenges of the day are going to be, whether that be on a 3G surface, a grass surface that’s been cut up, or later on in the season where the pitches start to dry out.

“We look at it all in our preparation and there’s nothing there that we aren’t mindful of.”

Alvechurch are unbeaten in their last six games and have lost just once in 2024.

Having taken points off play-off rivals Leamington and Stamford in recent weeks, the Telford camp are expecting another tricky outing.

“They’re a good few games unbeaten, and it wasn’t easy to overcome them at home,” Wilkin admitted. “They’re very capable of getting victories and results so we’re mindful of that.”

After last weekend’s 3-2 win over Sudbury, Telford have won their last four games and scored 11 goals in the process.

Kevin Wilkin was without Nathan Fox, Jared Hodgkiss, Fraser Kerr and Ricardo Dinanga for the game, and the Bucks boss gave an injury update ahead of the weekend.

“I think Fraser is expected to be fit for Saturday and I’d say we have a similar optimism around Ricardo,” he explained. “We’ll have to wait and see whether Jared is over his illness, and then that’ll just leave Nathan as our only absentee long term.

“Jared’s illness cropped up prior to the game and he wasn’t able to make it for the match, but I’ll speak to him again this week and find out whether he’s available.”

One player who will be hoping to make an impact for Telford is Matty Stenson, whose start to life back at New Bucks Head has been hampered by an ankle injury.

However, Stenson revealed that he is back available for selection and raring to go ahead of the weekend.

“I’ll certainly be involved this weekend,” the striker said. “I can’t say whether I’m going to start or be on the bench, but I’ll certainly be involved. I do feel ready, I’ve got the strength in my ankle, but I need to build up the cardio and match fitness.”