MANAGER John Snape has thrown down the gauntlet to Jamal Lawrence to nail down a place up front for Worcester City.

The fleet-footed ex-Cheltenham Town playmaker has pedigree at higher levels than City’s but has experienced a mixed bag since signing at the start of December.

Lawrence netted on his debut in a 2-2 draw at Sporting Khalsa but a niggling injury and patchy form followed for a player that spent time out of the game before linking up with Worcester.

Snape is attempting to boost his match fitness by arranging game time with Black Country Rangers, the team that also borrowed reserve keeper Sean Dayus and emerging talent Riley Keasey for a 7-3 midweek defeat at Cradley Town.


Despite the heavy loss Lawrence got two for Black Country, prompting hope for the boss of his parent club.

“Jamal has been a bit stop-start, he is one that never misses training but he does need minutes more than anything else,” said Snape.

“It is important for him to get a lot more game time between now and the end of the season.

“It will be down to him how he approaches that. We have spoken briefly and he wants to play but he needs to get himself in the side to do that as regularly as he needs to. He certainly has the talent but it is never easy when you are trying to build up match fitness.

“I think the reason we have taken a couple of defeats and draws in games we might have won is not having that die-hard finisher at the pinnacle of our attack. It is something we are lacking.

“There is competition for places, though, and we are relying on each of the front players to do everything they can to nail down positions.”

City head to Loughborough University in Midland Football League Premier Division tomorrow (3pm) with Lawrence the likeliest of the Black Country trio to be called upon.

Joel Caines and James Baldwin are still struggling with injury and expected to miss out but Snape is confident the rest of the squad will be fit and available.

“One thing we know about Loughborough is that our games with them are always between sides that want to play in the right way,” he added.

“It can be a bit hit and miss with them, you never know which players are about with term times and other competitions that the university plays in.

“It is a great place to go and play and hopefully the surface will be good so we can see a good game and the best from our lads."

Off the pitch, the club has announced its AGM will take place in the Graeme Hick Suite at Worcestershire County Cricket Club on Thursday, February 28 (7.30).