ALVECHURCH continued their rise up the Southern League Central Premier Division after pulling off a 2-0 victory at bottom of the table Bedworth United.

First half goals from David Bellis and Mitch Botfield put the Church firmly in command but manager Ian Long admitted afterwards that the game was no classic.

He claimed: "It was a scrappy game with very little quality in it. We never seem to play particularly well on artificial pitches.

"The only moment to stand out was Mitch Botfield's goal, which was a well worked team effort. Other than that, it wasn't a great spectacle.

"Bedworth gave us a good game, but they're not getting the rub of the green at the moment and they should have taken the lead through one of our former players Danny Dubidat.

"But the one good thing about the game was the team spirit shown by the players who stayed behind for quite a while after the game.

"The team spirit at Alvechurch is the best that I've seen it and that's really important to me. I always feel that team spirit is worth points in the bag!

Church were handed an unexpected boost before the game with the return of Yousef Cessay who is back at Lye Meadow on loan from Blackpool.

Long explained: "Yousef hasn't been getting much of a look in at Blackpool and needs to get games under his belt.

He's just been featuring for Blackpool's Development side at the moment and I'm grateful to everyone who made the loan deal possible.

"It was great to have him back. He's a potential matchwinner and I threw him straight in at Bedworth.

"The only downside was the fact Yousef injured his ankle during the game and has gone back to Blackpool for treatment this week.

"But I'm hoping Yousef will be back up and running in time for Saturday's FA Trophy game against Stratford Town.

"It's a competition I want to do well in. We know all about Stratford having already played them twice this season. They're on a good run of form at the moment and haven't lost in their last seven games, but at the same time, I'm delighted how well we've played so far this season.

"We're up to fifth place and I'd be happy if the season stopped right now. Not in my wildest dreams did I think we'd start the season so well.

"We've taken nine points out of a possible nine in October. It's a month that we targeted, but, no-one is getting carried away at the moment as we've have a tough month in November. but the start we've made has certainly lifted everyone".

Long was expected to utilise his squad this week for a J W Hunt Cup clash with Bilston Town Community ahead of their FA Trophy tie with Stratford which takes place at Lye Meadow.

Busy Long also confirmed he was on the lookout for a central defender to replace the departed Andy Parsons who has joined local rivals Redditch United.