Reds buzzing at prospect of Moors Trophy test - The Redditch Standard

Reds buzzing at prospect of Moors Trophy test

Redditch Editorial 19th Nov, 2014 Updated: 18th Oct, 2016   0

REDDITCH United manager Liam McDonald is relishing the prospect of leading his side into battle against local rivals Solihull Moors in the FA Trophy third qualifying round.

The Reds overcame a second stern test in the competition this season as they defeated Northern League Premier Division outfit Trafford 5-2 in the second qualifying round at the Valley Stadium on Saturday to pocket £3,250 in prize money and set up a Damson Park derby date on November 29.

Star players Jermaine Hylton and Ashley Sammons were once again on target for McDonald’s side, but they were made to fight all the way for victory as the ten-man visitors – inspired by their two-goal prolific striker Shelton Payne – played their part in a thrilling match.

However, it was the hosts who progressed and McDonald is keen to pit his wits against Moors boss Marcus Bignot – the former Crewe Alexandra, QPR and Millwall full back – when Redditch visit the promotion-chasing Conference North outfit.

“I know Marcus very well and am very respectful of the fine job he’s doing at Solihull and of his experience in the game as a whole,” said McDonald.

“We have spoken a number of times and he was very good to me when I was going through a tough time with Redditch earlier in my time here. I have watched Solihull and can see the influence he has on the team, so it’s going to be very exciting for me to go up against someone I respect so much.

“However, it’s not about me and Marcus, it’s about the two teams and both have been enjoying excellent seasons so far and scoring plenty of goals, so it should be a great occasion.

“Our players are buzzing about the tie and the challenge it represents and I know our fans are excited by it too.

“As ever, we’ll go there determined to take the game to them and I really feel we have nothing to lose. We respect them tremendously, but for the moment myself and the players are delighted to have come through the challenge of Trafford and are pleased to have this opportunity.

“I seem to be saying this every round, but it’s pretty much the hardest draw we could have had again!”

Before that McDonald is eager for his side to extend their six-game unbeaten Southern League Premier Division run when they entertain Histon on Saturday.

The fourth placed Reds are closing in on third placed St Neots Town following the latter’s 1-0 home defeat to Cambridge City on Tuesday, with McDonald’s side just two points behind with two games in hand.

The manager added: “I keep talking about progress and for us we are looking at maybe moving into third place on Saturday with two games in hand depending on St Neots’ result.

“It’s a massive game for us before Solihull. We’ve had Histon watched and are well prepared to try and get the three points.”

Redditch, who then visit mid-table Conference North side Leamington in a Birmingham Senior Cup second round tie on Tuesday, were involved in a thrilling game against Trafford.

Payne gave the visitors an early lead but the match turned on its head soon afterwards when Clevon Beadle received a red card for a reckless challenge on Leavi Oshungbure.

Hylton hauled the hosts level just before the break and the match appeared over as a contest midway through the second half after Simeon Maye and Jim Mutton had guided home deft touches from free kicks to put Redditch 3-1 up.

However, Payne’s blistering strike made it 3-2 and Trafford were threatening a comeback until late goals from Jamie Spencer and Sammons sealed a thrilling victory for United.

“It was a great game for the fans to enjoy,” enthused McDonald.

“Jermaine (Hylton) was the best player on the park and you can see why we have more and more scouts coming to watch him and why League Two and Conference Premier clubs have made approaches for him.

“I am almost certain he’ll be playing professional football next season, probably in the Football League, but he’s showing his commitment to our cause this season and that’s great.

“There’s been scouts from Scotland down to see him as well and every opposition manager talks to me about him. That’s great for Redditch United.”

The only negative for McDonald this week was the news that a team who play a tier below the Reds had made a “disrespectful” seven-day approach for prolific goalscoring midfielder Sammons.

“Seven-day approaches are part and parcel of it all, but Ash (Sammons) tells me they had spoken to him behind my back before the official approach and that’s disrespectful to both myself and the club,” said McDonald.

“I am not having people thinking they can take advantage of little old Redditch and not go about things properly. The club is doing fine but some clubs seem to think we are struggling financially and that’s not the case. This type of thing has happened before, it’s happened again and I won’t put up with it.

“Ash is enjoying it here and he’ll be moving up the football ladder if he goes anywhere at all.”


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