17th Jul, 2019

Reds want more of winning feeling

Liam Moakes 22nd Feb, 2018

REDDITCH United manager Tim Harris was pleased with his side’s endeavours following successive Southern League Premier victories but admitted there was still plenty of room for improvement.

The Reds defeated Basingstoke Town 3-0 at the Trico Stadium on Saturday before following it up with another home success as lowly Gosport Borough were beaten 4-2 on Tuesday.

The weekend triumph was ultimately comfortable but Redditch were indebted to a fine first-half performance from keeper Ethan Ross who, after a number of excellent saves, dived to his left to keep out Sam Argent’s 43rd-minute penalty.

It was a turning point in the match as just two minutes later Harris’ men were ahead when Stuart Fleetwood superbly chipped the visiting keeper from 25 yards.

Two minutes into the second half a calm finish from Adam Page doubled United’s lead before the home side suffered another defensive injury when Louis Ezewele was forced off and replaced by Danny Jackman.

Fleetwood clipped the top of the bar before the outcome was put beyond doubt 13 minutes from time when Ash Sammons scored from the penalty spot, although Redditch then had striker Edji Mbunga sent off.

Redditch were again worthy winners three days later, although they made heavy weather of seeing off a Gosport side with just two league wins to their name all season.

The wily 37-year-old Craig McAllister gave the visitors a third-minute lead but the Reds were level three minutes later when Page’s cross-shot was deflected into the net.

Class

Midway through the first half Sammons showed all of his renowned class when he curled a shot through a crowd of players into the bottom corner, but it was 2-2 ten minutes before the break when superb work from Joel Jackson set up Ryan Pennery to tap home.

Jed Davies succumbed to an ankle injury at half-time and was replaced by Tristian Dunkley who immediately looked lively and was the creator in crossing for Adam Davie to head the Reds back ahead on the hour mark.

Dunkley beat two men before crashing a strike against the post 20 minutes from time but the Reds were not to be denied and made sure of the points in the 82nd minute when former Wrexham, Coventry City and Blackpool striker Andy Morrell, now 41, scored on his debut having come on as a substitute following his recent axing as Tamworth manager.

The wins have lifted the Reds into 14th place and reignited hopes of a top-half finish, but Harris wants more from his side, particularly away from home, starting with Saturday’s visit to Biggleswade Town.

“Winning successive matches obviously gives the lads a big confidence boost and gives us something to build on,” said Harris, whose side then visit St Ives Town on Tuesday.

“We were a bit disjointed in the second half against Gosport but much more controlled in our play in the second half and it was a good victory in the end because they are a much-improved side of late and asked some serious questions of us.

“We should have won by more but a win is a win and it’s good to follow what was a good performance and result on Saturday with another three points.

“The challenge now is to try and find more consistency but that really comes from consistency in selection and that’s been hard to come by here in the last couple of months.

“It’s been a bit of a revolving door and we aren’t helped now by the injury to Louis Ezewele who was forming a decent partnership with Jimmy Mutton, whilst we won’t be seeing Jed Davies this weekend having hurt his ankle.

“We need to improve our away form. It’s been poor all season really and, with some confidence now, we are determined to get a positive result at Biggleswade.”

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