QUENTIN Townsend insisted he can see ‘light at the end of the tunnel’, despite Pershore Town slipping to a seventh defeat in a row.
With absences prompting the inclusion of a raft of youngsters, Pershore fielded one of their youngest ever line-ups at title contenders Atherstone Town on Saturday.
However, they did not surrender as they took the lead and then only succumbed late on as the Adders sealed a 3-1 win to extend an unbeaten run to ten matches.
The fixture list does not get any easier but fourth from bottom Pershore now have successive home game against Leicester Road on Saturday and then Lichfield City next weekend and manager Townsend senses their fortunes are turning.
“The league table doesn’t make pleasant reading and it’s similar to last season but I can see light at the end of the tunnel,” said the boss. “We played well at Atherstone and despite being it such a young team a lot of players really stood up to the challenge.
“Will Stallard is only 18 or 19 but he is growing in stature. He is just one of so many youngsters. It must have been the youngest team Pershore have fielded for some time.
“Up front we had Alfie Bloomer, who is 17, and Mitch Butterworth is 17. Then, at the back, Toby Wilcox in goal is 21, Will is 18-19, Dean Waldron is 21 and Aaron Xavier 25. The senior player is Steve Webb and he is only 28. There’s a lot to work on.”
Butterworth fired Pershore ahead on Saturday at Sheepy Road, with a neatly taken finish on 15 minutes after racing on to Callum Wilson’s through ball.
It was 1-1 at half time after Luke Shorthouse converted a penalty following a handball before Ryan Quinn gave the Adders the lead on the hour.
Pershore keeper Wilcox then saved superbly from another Shorthouse penalty but the hosts added a third two minutes into stoppage time through Alan Miller as Pershore pushed for an equaliser.
Pershore will again be depleted when they entertain Leicester Road – looking to complete the double over the visitors after also winning twice last season – but Townsend has been able to add to the ranks.
Terrance Morton, who was with Racing Club Warwick and Knowle, can slot into any midfield role, while Jamie Taylor, a left back or midfielder, and Tom Windsor-Price, a right wing back or centre midfielder, have also joined. Taylor and Windsor-Price are both pals of Town midfielder David Wilson.
Morton and Taylor both played against the Adders and Windsor-Price is set for his debut this weekend.
Pershore will again be without front-runners Jamie Clarke and Pavel Tomczak and skipper Shaun Griffiths while Stallard is away. However, James Walker returns to duty.