AFC Ludlow boss Dave Cooper calls for strong home finish against Wolverhampton Sporting Community Reserves in West Midlands League Division Two

First published in Sport

AFC LUDLOW can bring the curtain down with a bang in their final Showtime Stadium match of the season tomorrow (Saturday), insists boss Dave Cooper.

Third-placed AFC Ludlow will host Wolverhampton Sporting Community Reserves in the West Midlands League Division Two.

The gaffer admits he doesn’t know what to expect from Reserves, who have lost their last three matches.

He said: “It’s our last home game of the season on Saturday against Wolverhampton. I want us to go out with a bang.

“I don’t know what to make of Wolverhampton. I would take a 1-0 win and the three points now to be honest. They were walking away with the championship, and now they are getting hammered 9-0 against Wrens Nest and 5-1 against Malvern Rangers.”

AFC Ludlow then have to contend with five away games after Saturday’s match, which Cooper insists will be a firm test of his players’ character.

However, Cooper warned his men not to overestimate Reserves on Saturday.

He insists AFC Ludlow must earn the points against Reserves on merit alone.

Cooper said: “We have seven tough away games after our home match against Wolverhampton. Those games will be a tough test of our character.

“Wolverhampton might have had half of their team out for the past month. We have to earn the right to win a football match. Anyone can beat anyone else in this league. We overpowered Malvern Rangers 13-1 then Malvern went out and thrashed Wolverhampton 5-1. They probably had a few players out against us.

“I would take a 1-0 win and the three points. I don’t mind how we do it, as long as we get the victory on Saturday.”

AFC Ludlow will be boosted by the return of Gavin Podmore, Adrian Marsh and Jamie Marsh, Cooper revealed.

He said: “Jamie will be back to help me out on Saturday. He is a big influence on the players’ with people missing Jamie is ideal. Gavin is back as well – Dan Gower is making himself available for the rest of the season from next week. Adrian is available on Wednesday.”

Cooper added that Luke Hicks, Dale Hodge and his brother Nathan will miss Saturday’s match against Reserves.

He said: “We are without Luke on Saturday, because he is suspended. We are also without Dale and Nathan on Saturday.”

The West Midlands League is second-placed Wrens Nest’s to lose, insists Cooper.

He believes Nest are in a great position to secure the championship.

But he warned Nest that AFC Ludlow would be fighting to win promotion right up until the end of the season.

Cooper insists the championship race would become clearer after the club’s away game against Sikh Hunters on Wednesday.

Cooper said: “I think the league is Wrens to lose – from looking at their results, the table and who they have got left to play. They are in the same position we were in within The Mercian League. We left ourselves in great position for the last two months. But the title race is not over until it’s over.

“If we can finish in the top three – a lot of our players haven’t played at this level before, and we are playing a lot of youngsters’.

“I think after Tuesday – we will see where we are, if we can get points on board. We need to beat the sides around us to put the pressure back on Wrens Nest. We can only focus on ourselves and we can’t do anything about the other teams.”

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