REDDITCH United reignited hopes of a top half Southern League Premier Division finish with an impressive 5-2 victory at Gosport Borough but know a stern test lies in wait this weekend against promotion-chasing King’s Lynn Town.
Tim Harris’ Reds secured just a fourth away win of the league campaign on the south coast on Saturday to move up to 14th place and within two points of the top half with nine matches remaining.
However, second-placed King’s Lynn are Saturday’s visitors to the Trico Stadium and will arrive just four points behind leaders Hereford. The Linnets, managed by former Norwich City defender Ian Culverhouse, will therefore be hell-bent on grabbing three points against a United side who have lost just two home league games this campaign.
Redditch surged into a 4-0 lead on Saturday against the division’s basement side through goals from Jim Mutton, Stuart Fleetwood (2) and Lewis Wright and an absolute rout looked on the cards.
However, the hosts had cut their arrears to 4-2 by the hour mark and Redditch were relieved when Derby County loanee defender Jordan Mills netted in the 63rd minute to restore a three-goal cushion which knocked the stuffing out of the hosts.
United, who have seen Josh Ezewele and Jed Davies returned to their parent clubs AFC Fylde and Tamworth respectively, have snapped up striker Montel Gibson, 20, on loan from League Two outfit Notts County and the forward will be pushing for a first Reds start on Saturday.
Meanwhile, United have recruited former Coventry City Ladies and West Bromwich Albion Women boss Craig Nicholls as an advisor.
Nicholls boasts a wealth of footballing experience after gaining a degree in sports coaching and conditioning from Cumberland University, USA, where he played for Nashville Metros.
Returning to his homeland, he spearheaded Coventry City Ladies to a league and cup double, with FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division and Birmingham County FA Women’s Champions Cup titles in the 2013/14 season.
He also led Coventry to two FA Women’s Cup quarter-final appearances and West Bromwich Albion Women one. During his tenure with the Baggies, he added a second Birmingham County FA Women’s Champions Cup trophy to his impressive CV during the 2016/17 season.
His pedigree, along with his enthusiasm and knowledge of Redditch following a playing spell, makes him the perfect person to aid academy director David Faulkner and community manager Ryan Kettle with developing homegrown talent and inspiring them to become members of the first-team squad in the future.
“I am thrilled to be back at the football club. With the infrastructure, facilities and ambitions, I feel the time is right to step into role and I am grateful for the opportunity,” said Nicholls.