ALVECHURCH draw a blank at promotion rivals Stamford this week but left the happier side following their goalless contest.

It leaves the Church just one point adrift of fourth placed Stamford but with the luxury of five games in hand.

Church boss Ian Long insisted: "It was a good point to win. We didn't play well and looked below par at times.

"Stamford hit the crossbar and I thought they shaded it on chances but it was a scrappy game and we didn't pass the ball too well. Neither side really deserved to win".

The result means Church have only lost once in their last 17 league games and Long is desperate to keep that run of good form going.

Church were due to visit title rivals Frickley this week before entertaining Peterborough Sports on Saturday.

That is followed by the much delayed J W Hunt Cup contest with Heath Hayes next Tuesday night.

Long confirmed: "I will be utilising the squad against Heath Hayes. I cannot afford to have any of my key players picking up injuries at this stage of the season, even though we are the holders of this competition".

Church have also been handed an attractive home tie against West Bromwich Albion in the quarter finals of the Birmingham Senior Cup which is set to take place on March 19.

Long added: "We're the lowest ranked club left in the competition with Stourbridge, Hednesford, Walsall and Nuneaton the only other sides involved.

"We're hoping for a bumper crowd against the Albion, especially as it's the first time we've ever faced each other in this competition.

Long is expecting to have Yousef Ceesay back on board following his trip to Barcelona while Ryan Winwood should have shaken off a bout of tonsillitis after being restricted to just 20 minutes at Stamford.