CONCERNED Alvechurch manager Ian Long breathed a huge sigh of relief this week after his side snatched a dramatic stoppage time winner at Stratford Town.

Josh March came off the bench to bag the only goal of the game in the 93rd minute.

Honest Long admitted: "We didn't deserve to win the game - a draw would have been a fair result.

"It was a difficult pitch and neither side created much in what was a scrappy midfield battle.

"The goal by Josh was one of the few bits of quality in the game.

"But the goal stopped the rot of three defeats, something I have never experienced before in my managerial career at Alvechurch and Tividale."

The result leaves Church just three points off third place in the Southern League Central Premier Division and the play-offs still remain Long's target.

He said: "I would have taken a point at Stratford. We've been playing well but not getting over the line in recent games but I know where we need to improve and I'm doing my best to try and bring people in to those positions.

"But as long as we're keeping clean sheets, then you've always got a chance of winning the game."

Church have the chance to press their play-off claims further when they entertain local rivals and strugglers Halesowen Town this Saturday at Lye Meadow.

Long should have a full squad to select from with central defender Jamie Willetts now back in training.