DARREN BYFIELD said he could not question the attitude of his Redditch United players after they battled back to end a seven-match losing run with a 1-1 draw at Cinderford Town on Saturday.
The Southern League Premier Division’s bottom side – who went into the match on the back of three successive wins – had looked set to extend United’s misery when Sammie Hicks fired the Gloucestershire side into a 76th-minute lead.
However, the visitors rescued a deserved share of the spoils when Luke Rodgers showed excellent touch and poise to fire home an injury time equaliser.
Former Shrewsbury Town, Crewe Alexandra, Port Vale and Notts County striker Rodgers was playing for Redditch as a favour for boss Byfield, who has seen his squad stretched to the limit in recent weeks, and the Reds manager thanked the Birmingham-born 35-year-old for his contribution.
“Luke only came on board as a short-term favour and has this week signed for Stourbridge from Solihull Moors, but he took his goal really well and had a good game,” said Byfield.
“He might have got the goal, but as a team we deserved that because our attitude and commitment to battle to the end could not be questioned on Saturday.
“We were the better team in the first half and should have been a couple of goals up at half time, but Cinderford got on top in the second period and overall a draw was a fair result.
“Unfortunately Charlie Morris missed a great chance very early on for us and I’ve given him some stick for it! However, I cannot fault him, he’s been excellent for us since joining from Solihull and if attackers are getting into the positions to score goals then I will not criticise them.
“Their keeper also made a couple of great saves from Charlie and Donnell Benjamin in the first half which kept them in the game.”
Byfield’s men will bid to secure their first victory of 2017 when they host Dorchester Town at the Trico Stadium on Saturday and the manager is well aware of what his side must do to achieve their aim.
“We need to be as committed and have the same attitude as Saturday but must be more clinical with our chances,” said Byfield.
“We should have seen both Cinderford and Cambridge City off in recent games. We need to be more ruthless.”
The Reds have recruited Mo Diop from Rushall Olympic and the winger/striker made his debut as a late substitute at Cinderford, whilst striker Khaellem Bailey-Nicholls has joined on loan from Wrexham and is set to feature this weekend.
Byfield is hopeful midfielders Max Loveridge (hamstring) and Benjamin (ankle) and striker Luke Keen (back) will all overcome injury concerns and feature.