REDDITCH United boss Tim Harris called for an improved performance level from his side following three successive defeats and he got it as the Reds saw off sixth-placed visitors Royston Town 1-0 on Wednesday.
Stuart Fleetwood’s 52nd-minute goal proved the difference between the sides in a tight game and was reward for a Reds side who, despite some battling performances, have found life tough in recent weeks against promotion-chasing teams.
United, up to 13th after their tenth home win of the Southern Premier campaign, now face another tough game on Saturday when third-placed Weymouth visit the Trico Stadium before a Tuesday night trip to Cambridgeshire to take on St Ives Town.
The Reds were able to hand a start to veteran striker Andy Morrell in midweek and the former Coventry City and Blackpool forward expressed his delight with the result on Twitter.
Morrell tweeted: “Sooo STIFF! Started first competitive game since September 16 and certainly feels like it today. Thoroughly enjoyed it and @RedditchUnited1 lads dug in to get well deserved 1-0 win!! Looking forward to a recovery WEEK now!”
Boss Harris had conceded his squad’s performance levels needed to rise if his side they were to stand a chance of beating Royston Town and Weymouth after three successive defeats.
The Reds slipped to a 2-0 defeat at Chesham United on Saturday before a fantastic 1,651 Trico Stadium crowd witnessed Hereford beat Harris’ charges by the same scoreline on Easter Monday.
Despite the superb atmosphere generated by both sets of supporters on Monday afternoon, along with Saturday’s loss at Chesham, Harris admitted “we didn’t really deserve anything out of either game”.
Speaking ahead of the Royston fixture, he said: “We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We all know we are in the middle of a tough run of fixtures, but other teams are going through similar patches of fixture congestion so we cannot complain,” said Harris.
“Games against Chesham and then Hereford – the team I think will go up as worthy champions – were markers to show our credentials, but, unfortunately, we fell short of what I expected.”
He believes the squad boasts the talent but is certainly lacking in consistency and confidence at times.
The boss added: “If we play on the front foot, score the first goal, then we are likely to go on and put in a decent performance.
“We have the ability in the squad, but it is a young and inexperienced one, too, which means our senior professionals need to step up and demonstrate more responsibilities.”
Lewis Wright (hamstring) and Tom Fishwick, who has had various knocks, recovered from injury to start in midweek but Tyler Weir (ankle) and Ash Sammons (gluteus) will be assessed ahead of the weekend.