REDDITCH United boss Tim Harris said he could not fault the commitment of his players despite having to settle for just one point from their last two Southern League Premier matches.
The Reds were sunk by a superb first half Archie Collins goal in Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Dorchester Town before rescuing a point in a 2-2 draw at home to Banbury United on Tuesday thanks to Stuart Fleetwood’s strike in the second minute of injury time.
On the balance of play, the Reds could feel somewhat aggrieved not to have taken more from both games but Harris took solace from the effort and desire shown by his squad, which he admits is in need of strengthening.
“Speaking after Tuesday’s draw, in which a superb Adam Page strike gave the Reds an early lead before second half goals from Ricky Johnson and Thomas Bradbury put Banbury ahead, Harris said: “We started well and it was a great goal from Adam Page, who left the right back for dead before a fine finish into the bottom corner.
“Banbury are a big, strong side with half a dozen lads 6ft 2in or taller but we dealt with them well in the first half and really could have led by more.
“However, we conceded two really poor goals. It was naive defending to concede to free headers.
“The plus side though was the reaction as the lads showed real character to dig deep and take something from the game with a neat finish from Stuart (Fleetwood) after more good work from Ash (Sammons) and Adam (Page).
“We kept going and I thought both Adam and Ash were tremendous, with great deliveries from Ash setting up both goals.”
On Saturday, Redditch showed excellent character in an attempt to overturn their deficit but to no avail as their Dorset hosts hung on to secure victory, notably due to a brilliant reflex save on to the post which denied Fleetwood an equaliser.
Harris said: “In the second half in particular we asked a lot of questions of their defence with a very committed performance.
“The lads worked very hard which is the minimum requirement from any team and only a great goal separated the sides.
“One thing I would say though is that we are very light on bodies. We are struggling for numbers and we’ll have to take a look at that. (Left back) Nathan Fox will be missing for a few weeks now too as he did his hamstring in midweek.
“There’s a few other lads carrying knocks so it’s not easy to get continuity at the moment.”
Redditch, 15th in the table, host third from bottom Kings Langley on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Reds have been drawn to visit Southern League West play-off chasers Didcot Town in their Bigfreebet.com League Cup quarter-final on Tuesday, January 30.
The cup tie means the home league fixture against Gosport Borough will have to be rearranged for a second time.