REDDITCH United head to lowly Dunstable Town on Saturday bidding to return to winning ways after a frustrating 1-0 defeat at Hitchin Town on Monday.
Darren Byfield’s Reds travelled to Hertfordshire in fine heart after a highly impressive 4-0 home victory over St Ives Town on Saturday in which Dior Angus bagged a brace to take his tally for the season to a hugely impressive 15 and Andi Thanoj and Spencer Weir-Daley also found the target.
However, the Reds drew a blank 48 hours later as a superb 25-yard strike from Jonny McNamara – often a United nemesis – handed maximum points to the Canaries, last season’s beaten play-off finalists.
Byfield had no complaints though, telling the club website his side only had themselves to blame but also taking the positives from a decent encounter which was settled by the 48th-minute strike.
“The effort was there throughout the game and I thought the first half was pretty even,” said the manager.
“We knew there wouldn’t be many goals in it because it was a tight game. We were just hoping for a mistake from them or a bit of magic from us, but they got the bit of magic with a great finish.
“After that we gave everything and there were a couple of chances at the end where we should have got something and I think we should have left with a point at least.
“We played well on Saturday and then 48 hours later we have had to travel down to Hitchin who are a good side and work hard.
“We gave everything and I cannot say anything bad about my team because once again they have given their all. We didn’t have that last season.
“Our workrate was excellent but we do have to start taking points from the teams at the top because that could be the difference at the end of the season.”
McNamara and Dan Webb went close for Hitchin in the first half but, after falling behind, Redditch responded well and the prolific Spencer Weir-Daley headed narrowly wide on 55 minutes before Angus’ acrobatic overhead kick flew straight into the arms of grateful Town keeper Michael Johnson.
Defenders Gowan Stares, Gui Mailancol and Orrin Pendley all went close for the visitors before the impressive Kevin Monteiro was denied in the 87th minute when his jinking run ended with a strike superbly tipped around the post by Johnson.
On Saturday, United took just three minutes to open the scoring when former Albanian U21 international Thanoj’s 20-yard free kick flew into the net via the near post.
It was 2-0 five minutes before the break when Weir-Daley’s low cross from the left was converted with ease by Angus.
After Stares had seen a header cleared off the line in the second half, Weir-Daley netted his 11th goal of the season from Monteiro’s assist before the scoring was completed when Angus rifled home from the penalty spot after Thanoj was tripped by Miles Smith.
After the trip to Dunstable, the Reds face the visit of title-chasing Kettering Town to the Trico on Tuesday.
Report compiled with the help of Matthew Johnson.
STUDLEY returned to the top of Midland League Division One with a 2-0 victory at Stafford Town on Saturday thanks to goals from Gaz Evans and Karl King.
The Bees are one point ahead of Walsall Wood, who dropped to second after being held to a goalless draw at lowly Nuneaton Griff.
Keith Draper’s Studley host Bolehall Swifts on Saturday.