September 23rd, 2016

United are back at full strength for Bank Holiday fixtures

United are back at full strength for Bank Holiday fixtures United are back at full strength for Bank Holiday fixtures
The new 3G pitch is place at the Valley Stadium, but the Reds will not play there until September 10 against Slough Town. Picture courtesy of Jeff Watson.

DARREN BYFIELD is remaining calm after seeing his Redditch United side suffer a third consecutive defeat and hopes having a fully fit squad to choose from over the Bank Holiday weekend will signal an upturn in fortunes.

The Reds produced a dominant second half display at King’s Lynn Town on Saturday as they recovered from conceding a first-minute Shaun McWilliams goal to level through Danico Johnson in the 78th minute.

However, Matthew Castellan struck an 87th-minute winner for the Norfolk side and Redditch made the long trip back empty-handed.

Heading into Saturday’s trip to Kings Langley – a fixture reversed as the finishing touches are applied to the refurbished Valley Stadium – and Monday’s (3pm) visit to Banbury United, Byfield can welcome centre backs Clayton McDonald and Ricardo Dudley back into the fold and also has a clean bill of health within the ranks.

In addition Mike Taylor, the new forward recruit from Southern Premier rivals Stratford Town, has completed his switch to the Valley as reported by the Standard last week.

Byfield, who came out of retirement as a second half substitute and provided the assist for Johnson’s goal at King’s Lynn with a deft flick, said: “I didn’t have any complaints with the results in our defeats to Weymouth and Kettering, but we were unlucky to lose on Saturday.

“It was a very impressive performance in the second half and their gaffer told me it really should have been us celebrating victory.

“However, and I’ve told this to the boys, we need to start performing for 90 minutes and not in one half here and one half there or else we won’t be winning the amount of games we want to.

“We have missed the likes of Clayton McDonald and Jordan Jones in recent games and having them back for the weekend is a big boost for us, as is getting Mike (Taylor) in from Stratford.

“He’s a good player who I know well from our time together at Solihull Moors and he will offer us something different up front. We need four forwards and that doesn’t include me. I don’t intend to be returning to the action!”

Byfield added: “We’ve got to remain calm. We’ve had a complete rebuild of the team in a short space of time, have had some lengthy away trips and are yet to play at the Valley, so it was always going to be a testing start.

“I’m confident in the squad we have and the lads are itching to get back playing at the Valley.”

THE REDS, who have an FA Cup first qualifying round tie at Coalville Town on Saturday, September 3, will play their first match of the season at the revamped Valley against Slough Town on Saturday, September 10.