24th Apr, 2019

Clarke: Glassboys were a cut above

Redditch Editorial 21st Mar, 2019

ASSISTANT manager Matt Clarke said the lack of experience in the side showed after Redditch United were beaten 4-1 by promotion hopefuls Stourbridge on Saturday.

Aaron Forde and Paul McCone both bagged braces for the second-placed Glassboys as they brushed aside their visitors despite a 23rd-minute equaliser from Robbie Bunn from a Jack Storer assist.

Clarke had no complaints but was keen to point out the quality of the opposition the Reds were up against.

“It was disappointing to lose a four-game unbeaten run in that fashion. At 2-1 down at half-time, we spoke to the lads about staying in the game in the second half but within ten minutes we conceded a poor goal from a free kick and then five minutes later we didn’t get anywhere near close enough to Aaron Forde and it’s 4-1,” said Clarke.

“The lads have been in good form and the commitment is there but there has been a habit of levels dipping when we fall behind in a game and that was the case here.

“That said, we were missing four big players with plenty of experience – Michael McGrath, James Bowen, Rob Evans and Richard Batchelor – and it was always going to be a difficult game for us.

“Stourbridge are a really good side who have been together for a long time and their experience showed. We couldn’t stay in the game for long enough.

“We’re expecting another tough game on Saturday at home to Tamworth as they’ve been on a good run but we will stick together and go again.”

The Reds are 17th in the Southern Premier table, three places and eight points above the drop zone with seven matches remaining.

The Trico Stadium will host the U18s Schools’ Centenary Shield international between England and Northern Ireland on Friday, April 5 (7pm) in conjunction with the English Schools’ Football Association. Entrance is £5 for adults and £3 children. See next week’s Standard for more details.

ALVECHURCH gave an excellent account of themselves against fellow Southern Premier Central play-off hopefuls King’s Lynn Town on Tuesday but were unable to climb back into the top five as Chris Henderson’s 63rd-minute goal sentenced them to a 1-0 defeat.

Ian Long’s side made a lively start to proceedings and would have found themselves a couple of goals to the good in the opening quarter with better finishing, but they were unable to turn their early dominance into goals and the Norfolk side gradually found their feet as half-time approached.

The home side were in the ascendancy in the opening stages of the second half and Henderson’s goal gave them a deserved advantage.

Alvechurch were not finished and laid siege to the hosts’ goal as full-time neared but, despite some frantic goalmouth scrambles, were unable to find an equaliser.

The win cemented third place for King’s Lynn, who are now eight points above Alvechurch having played two more games. Sandwiched in between are Stratford Town and AFC Rushden & Diamonds – seven points and one point above Long’s side – but Church also have two games in hand on these two teams.

Alvechurch face another long trip on Saturday when they head to Cambridgeshire to face mid-table St Ives Town in the first of nine remaining matches, before hosting Barwell at Lye Meadow on Tuesday. The Leicestershire side currently sit seven points above the relegation zone.

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