Manager Quentin Townsend will have to lift the spirits of his Southam United side ahead of tomorrow’s FA Cup tie with AFC Wulfrunians after they were well beaten at home by Littleton in the Midland League on Tuesday evening, writes David Hucker.
With club captain Tom Cross back from his honeymoon and midfielder Gaz Walker making his league debut, Townsend had a full squad to choose from, but his side were outplayed virtually from the start, going down 3-0 with all the goal action coming in the first half.
The visitors went ahead in the 11th minute when Cross failed to gather a back-pass at the edge of the area and Jamie Clarke ran on to the ball and around the keeper to tap into an empty net.
Kyle Turner just failed to convert a Gareth Evans cross, before Luke Rowlands lobbed over the bar for Littleton. Rowlands then set up Clarke, but Cross made the save.
Littleton were dominating and should have doubled the lead on the half-hour when the ball came back off the bar, but Sean Cooke shot wide.
Saints then forced two corners but could not convert them and were punished by the visitors when Clarke scored his second goal in the 35th minute and then Rowlands thumped in another to make it 3-0.
On Saturday, Saints earned a point at last season’s runners-up Bromsgrove Sporting when new signing Kyle Turner scored his first goal for the club to cancel out Reece Hewitt’s first-half opener.
What had looked a tough opening fixture for Saints did not get any easier in the 28th minute when Hewitt picked up the ball from a throw-in to easily beat debutant keeper James Cutts, who had been signed from Stratford Town on the day of the match.
With former Leamington striker Luke Corbett in their attack, Sporting always looked capable of adding to their tally but Turner levelled the match with a powerful header from a Lee Thomas corner in the 69th minute.
Jack Brighton was sent off in the 73rd minute, forcing Saints to play out the rest of the match with ten men and it took some good saves from Cutts to keep Bromsgrove at bay.
Saints will be taking a break from Division One action tomorrow when they entertain Wulfrunians in an FA Cup extra preliminary qualifying round tie at Banbury Road (3pm).
The visitors play at a level higher and have started the season with a bang, winning 3-0 at Alvechurch on Saturday and beating Brocton 2-1 at home on Tuesday.
With Saints having been ineligible for last season’s competition, they will want to do well tomorrow, but will have to step on their two performances to date.