It's hard to change a winning team, says AFC Ludlow boss Cooper

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MANAGER Dave Cooper says it will be hard to change a winning side for Saturday’s home clash with Wyrley in the West Midlands League Division One.

Ludlow were without a league fixture last weekend but they thrashed Bustleholme 4-1 on the opening day of the season.

Cooper took a youthful Ludlow side to play Orleton Colts in a friendly last week and said Kieran Dovey was outstanding in a 2-0 defeat.

“If we can hit the levels which we did against Bustleholme we will not have any problems against Wyrley,” said Cooper.

“We were excellent against Bustleholme and it was hard to change a winning side.”

Cooper expects Martin Jusko, Joel Leversedge and Aaron Dovey back in the fold for this weekend’s match but Kieran Dovey is likely to be missing.

“Orleton scored two goals in last weekend’s friendly which, from our point of view, were terrible to concede,” said Cooper.

“Kieran Dovey played the entire match and the best player on the pitch.

“At one point, I got a bit frustrated with the players but they are young and will come on.

“Martin Jusko, Joel Leversedge and Aaron Dovey are back in the fold this weekend.

“Joel now has his international clearance after playing in the Welsh system for Presteigne.”

AFC Ludlow were due to play Orleton Colts Reserves last night and they will be travelling to Leominster Town Colts next Tuesday, 7.15pm kick-off.

Wayne Whitbread believes his side can step up a gear after Clee Hill United’s 2-2 with rivals Brown Clee in the Mercian League Division One.

Sammy Watkins and Stevie Preece netted for Hill, who conceded an equaliser in the dying minutes.

But Hill’s Dave Perks suffered the recurrence of the knee injury which he picked up last season.

Whitbread said: “It was probably a fair results but I had hoped for more.

“We did not play too well compared to how we had done during pre-season.

“We did not pass the ball as well as I know we can.”

Watkins broke the deadlock after 20 minutes, reacting quickly to slot home the ball after the Brown Clee goalkeeper had spilled James Clifford’s free-kick.

Brown Clee levelled 10 minutes before the interval

But Hill regained the advantage after the goalkeeper fumbled and Preece poked the ball over the goal-line.

“We got into good positions but, too many times, our final ball went astray,” said Whitbread.

“With 10 minutes remaining, we were caught on the break and equalised and it was a kick in the teeth.

“They have a mixture of new players and I only knew three or four of the lads on their team. Chris Waldron was on holiday and Steve Jordan was in charge of the team.”

Whitbread is hoping to have OIi Smith back for this Saturday’s home match against Oakengates Rangers. But Adam Warren and Nick Wilding are missing.”

Bishops Castle Town crashed 3-0 at home to AFC Broseley, also in Division One.

Player-manager Alex Jones said: “The scoreline wasn’t a true reflection of the match. In the first half, we played well and Broseley scored a cracking goal to open the scoring. After we fell behind we were always chasing the game.”

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