20th Jul, 2019

Smith: "Better but concentration levels cost us at both ends of the pitch"

Redditch Editorial 18th Dec, 2018

REDDITCH United boss Paul Smith lamented his side’s finishing after the Reds slipped to a 2-1 defeat against Royston Town at the Trico Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

A much-improved performance from Smith’s charges saw them leading and threatening to extend their lead, but a lapse in concentration allowed the Crows to equalise from the spot on the stroke of half-time before netting a 78th-minute winner.

Smith, whose side have now lost successive Southern Premier Central fixtures, was pleased with the players’ response after the display at St Neots but, ultimately, was left frustrated at not taking anything from the game.

“It was a much better performance (against Royston) and we’ve had enough chances to win two games, let alone one, but we were dealt a couple of sucker-punches which meant we all went home empty-handed and disappointed,” said Smith.

“Unfortunately, big decisions in both boxes were our undoing. We made sloppy errors defensively and squandered chances in front of goal, which makes it difficult to win football matches and I put that down to concentration – simple as that – levels must be better at both ends.”

Midfielder George Washbourne scored within 60 seconds of his Reds debut and Smith was pleased with his performance and that of fellow debutant striker Harry White.

He added: “George had been injured, so it’s taken time for him to recover and finally put the red shirt on, but he proved what a good signing he is going to be for us and he took his goal well.

“Harry, meanwhile, held his own against two big central defenders. We know the qualities he has and I’m sure he’ll be on the scoresheet in the not too distant future.”

White may well get his opportunity to score his first Redditch goal tonight (Tuesday) as the Reds make the long journey to Suffolk to take on play-off chasing Needham Market.

However, due to work commitments of various players and the travel involved, preparation has not been ideal and there are doubts over a few players’ availability, as Smith explained.

“The likes of Andy Parsons, Robbie Bunn and George Washbourne are all doubts because of their work commitments, which is obviously frustrating, but we won’t make excuses.

“We’ll ensure a team is put out that is capable of winning against a tough opposition and give it our best.”

Midfielder Richard Batchelor (calf) is also a serious doubt after limping off in the first half against Royston, while defender Jordan Mills has left the club after receiving a scholarship opportunity in the United States.

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