23rd Mar, 2019

Battling display pleases Reds boss

Liam Moakes 13th Apr, 2017

DARREN BYFIELD has called for more of the same commitment from his Redditch United side when they host Kings Langley on Saturday aiming to secure the point or better which will seal the Reds’ Southern League Premier Division survival.

United showed resilience in holding full-time Basingstoke Town to a 2-2 draw at the Trico Stadium on Saturday and manager Byfield is looking for a repeat display in both Easter fixtures, the second of which is Monday’s (3pm) visit of play-off chasing Merthyr Town.

“I thought we showed our desire against a very good Basingstoke team who pass the ball extremely well,” said Byfield. “You could tell they (Basingstoke) are a full-time outfit. It was a very hot day and there were some tired legs out there but our fans could see how hard the boys worked.

“I know it’s been a horrible 2017 for us so far, winning just one game and falling away from the play-off race, but we are not looking backwards. It’s important we try and win a game or two before the season ends.”

The Reds were dominant in the opening stages and took an early lead through Zaquib Hussain, who ghosted in at the far post to convert a left-wing cross the tireless Luke Keen, but the visitors gradually worked their way back into proceedings and levelled shortly before the break through Matthew Partridge.

Redditch saw less of the ball in the second period and fell behind midway through the half when Aaron Jarvis capped an impressive move with an instinctive finish, but the hosts were not done and Keen’s 75th-minute strike into the bottom left corner salvaged a share of the spoils.

The point means the Reds need to avoid defeat against fifth bottom Kings Langley to seal safety, although in truth only an incredible sequence of results across the final three rounds of fixtures would lead to a bottom four finish.

Byfield added: “I was proud of the way we stuck at it on Saturday. We were in control of things until they equalised but then had to change things at half time because of the possession they had. We gave up the ball and tried to win it back on halfway.

“People sometimes forget what a young side we are, but Duane Courtney, Jordan Brown and Luke Keen are the only experienced heads in the team really.

“Some of the young lads were excellent though. I was delighted for Zaquib (Hussain) to score and also felt Jack Coates was tremendous.

“We now finish the campaign with three matches against sides with it all to play for – teams chasing victories – so that could play into our hands hopefully.”

The Reds have no fresh injury concerns and will be able to welcome versatile Jordan Cullinane-Liburd back from suspension for Monday’s match.

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