FOOTBALL - Redditch United move joint top as winning run stretches to six matches over festive period - The Redditch Standard

FOOTBALL - Redditch United move joint top as winning run stretches to six matches over festive period

Redditch Editorial 2nd Jan, 2024 Updated: 3rd Jan, 2024   0

REECE Flanagan’s penalty helped Redditch United to a 1-0 win against Stourbridge on New Year’s Day – a result which moves the Reds joint top of the table.

Flanagan scored the game’s only goal in first-half injury time at the War Memorial Athletic Ground to send the Reds level on points with league leaders Mickleover.

That came after Callum Rowe grabbed the winner in Redditch’s 1-0 Boxing Day success against local rivals Alvechurch at the Valley Stadium.

The results mean Redditch sit third in the Southern League Premier Central table, behind Mickleover and Needham Market on goal difference although both teams have games in-hand on the Reds.

After securing a sixth successive win in the league at Stourbridge, Reds boss Matt Clarke said: “We’ve come here before and been battered, I remember coming here two years ago when we were bottom of the league.

“It just shows the contrast, if you want to be successful at any level of the game you’ve got to be able to do both sides of the game and we’ve got players who can do that.

“You’ve got to be able to mix up, we’ve played in four different shapes in the last four games, it shows we’ve got that flexibility and adaptability within the group.

“We don’t get too high when we win and we don’t get too low when we lose, we’ve won six on the bounce which is fantastic for the group and the supporters.

“It’s important to take each game as it comes, we’ll learn a lot more about ourselves come the end of the month, we’re just enjoying it.

“There’s no pressure on us, we don’t feel any pressure, the boys are really happy and playing with smiles on their faces and that’s reflecting in the performance, long may it continue.”

In difficult conditions against Stourbridge, Redditch piled on the pressure at the end of the first half as Flanagan and Aram Soleman forced Charlie Price into a couple of fine saves.

And the Reds pressure eventually told four minutes into first-half injury time when Joel Kettle barged Tyrell Skeen-Hamilton to the ground in the box and Flanagan coolly found the right corner of the goal from the spot.

The visitors held on after the break as Reds goalkeeper Adam Harrison made a pair of crucial saves while Flanagan headed off the line to ensure Redditch went home with the points.

That came after Clarke’s men battled to a 1-0 home win against struggling rivals Alvechurch on Boxing Day in front of a bumper 923 crowd.

The Reds again scored their winner in first-half injury time as Rowe curled a delightful free-kick past Brad Foster and into the top left corner from 20-yards out.

Redditch are next in action at home to Coalville Town on Saturday, January 6 with kick-off at 3pm at the Valley Stadium.

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