REDDITCH United head to fellow promotion hopefuls Poole Town on Saturday buoyed by an excellent performance in seeing off Dunstable Town 2-1 at the Valley Stadium on Saturday.
Two days after seeing forward Jermaine Hylton complete his move to League One leaders Swindon Town on a two-and-a-half-year deal, Liam McDonald’s side turned in a highly positive performance as new signing from Alvechurch Luke Shearer made his debut with a starting berth up front and fellow new recruits Kyle Turner and Leigh Phillips came on as substitutes, whilst Zac Sirrell was an unused substitute.
The quartet have all made recent moves to the Valley from Midland Football League outfits as McDonald continues his policy of giving young and hungry talent – often from lower level sides – the chance to impress in the Reds’ bid to secure at least a Southern League Premier Division play-off spot.
Fourth placed Redditch will see their credentials tested to the fullest in the coming weeks as they embark on a four-match stretch of away fixtures, starting with Saturday’s trip to the south coast to face second placed Poole, which is followed by another long journey on Tuesday when United travel to Cornwall to face Truro City, who are currently seventh.
However, Redditch, who saw Tuesday’s Worcestershire Senior Cup semi-final at home to Worcester City fall victim to a waterlogged pitch, have nothing to fear if they replicate the level of performance shown on Saturday, particularly in a dominant first half.
With Ashley Sammons in majestic form and Calvin Dinsley and Liam Spink bossing the midfield, the Reds took charge of the opening period but only had Simeon Maye’s 30th minute cross-shot which beat the superb Luke Chambers in the Dunstable goal to show for their efforts.
Sammons and Shearer drew superb saves from Chambers before Dunstable equalised in the 61st minute when Scott Davies capped an excellent counter-attack with a composed finish.
However, the hosts were good value overall for their victory and clinched victory in fortuitous circumstances in the 75th minute when visiting captain Ben Herd marred an impressive performance by heading into his own net.
So the post-Hylton era began in winning fashion for the Reds, who will now aim to continue the job which Hylton and his team-mates started by at least securing a place in the end of season play-offs.
The Reds were the dominant side. Photo by Marcus Mingins. 0215010MMR3.
My ball: Ashley Sammons in possession for United. Photo by Marcus Mingins. 0215010MMR1.
Photo by Marcus Mingins. 0215010MMR2.
New recruit Luke Shearer in action for the Reds on Saturday. Photo by Marcus Mingins. 0215010MMR8.