BOSS Darren Byfield said the first half performance in Tuesday’s 3-1 victory at Banbury United was the best football played by Redditch United during his time at the helm.
First half goals from red-hot strikers Dior Angus and Spencer Weir-Daley were added to by substitute Danico Johnson in the second half, rendering Jefferson Louis’ injury time goal a mere consolation for high-flying Banbury.
The Reds’ fifth win of the Southern League Premier campaign came on the back of Saturday’s 3-1 home victory over Chesham United in which Orrin Pendley, Weir-Daley and Angus netted and Byfield is thrilled by the progress his third placed side are making.
“On Tuesday, the first half display was the best football we have produced since I’ve been here. It was a joy to watch really – the passing, the movement, the finishing – and I couldn’t ask for more,” said Byfield.
“What delighted me just as much was the way we went about things in the second half. It became very wet and windy and Banbury were firing a lot of long balls up to big Jefferson Louis, but we stood up to the physical challenge they posed us and showed the other side to our game which was too often lacking last season.
“I couldn’t be happier with Dior and Spencer at the moment. They are similar places in that both like to go in behind but they’ve struck up a great partnership and that’s seven goals each for them already this season.
“Everyone was thrilled for Danico to come on and score because he’s working so hard every minute he’s on the pitch and that goal should do him the world of good.
“The strikers are getting the plaudits, but the service they are getting from midfield and the way our full backs are playing is just as crucial to the results we have had.”
“We didn’t play our best football on Saturday but the players worked so hard for each other and stuck to the plans we gave them.
“I am a demanding manager and the players probably wonder why I don’t smile more often, but we’ve got high standards and I want to keep driving the boys on because we’ve achieved nothing yet.”
Byfield now expects a stern test on Saturday when he takes his side to local rivals Stratford Town for an eagerly anticipated FA Cup second qualifying round tie.
Having finally ended their dismal FA Cup sequence of results with a 1-0 win at Lincoln United in the first qualifying round, the Reds have the chance to move within two victories of the first round proper and earn £4,500 in prize money with victory at the MoodChimp Stadium.
However, the manager knows his men will face a Town side eager to respond to successive heavy league defeats.
Byfield, who will check on the fitness of midfielder Kevin Monteiro who sustained a knock at Banbury, added: “We drew 0-0 at Stratford in the league last month and it was as tough a game as anyone has given us so far.
“They will feel they had the better of it without ever truly looking like scoring, whilst we could have pinched it at the end when Danico Johnson hit the bar.
“Stratford will be a wounded animal and we need to be on our guard.”