UNDER-PRESSURE Redditch United boss Paul Davis has urged supporters to continue backing his side as they prepare to host second-placed Coalville Town on Saturday.
The Reds sit second-bottom of Southern League Premier Division Central with just one win to their name after six matches and exited the FA Cup in disappointing fashion on Saturday when lower-ranked Rugby Town scored three times in the closing stages to win 4-2 at the TRICO Stadium despite being down to ten men in the first qualifying round tie.
However, Davis is staying positive and is calling on the Reds faithful to stick with him and the players ahead of what is an important match on Saturday.
“Of course, we understand the start of the season has not gone to plan,” said Davis. “My staff and I have held open and frank meetings with the players, they’ve worked hard in training and are determined to put things right.
“It won’t happen overnight. There have been many personnel changes over the last few weeks, so we are certainly going through a transitional spell, but, as long as we work hard and the effort is there, I am confident results will follow.
“The supporters have a role to play as well. We all understand their frustrations, we don’t want to spoil their weekends by crumbling like we did against Rugby Town, so we will line up on Saturday afternoon and do our utmost to send them home happy. I hope they create a great atmosphere on Saturday.”
On Coalville, Davis added: “They’re a good side, they’re second in the table, so it’ll be a very tough game.
“If we give everything, leave every last bit of energy on the pitch, I will be satisfied and hopefully it’ll be enough to win the game.”
Davis, who revealed full-back Jamie Ashmore and striker Stefan Moore have both left the club, was hopeful of adding two central defenders to his squad as the Standard went to press.
The Reds took the lead on seven minutes on Saturday when Leam Howards kept up his goalscoring form as he slotted in from close range after Rugby goalkeeper Matt Hill had pushed Montel Gibson’s low strike into his path.
Charlie Evans nodded the visitors level just before the break, but Redditch restored their advantage on 57 minutes when substitute Nyeko Sinclair, who had been introduced into the back four after the break, burst late into the box to meet a dangerous Tom Winters delivery and head the ball past Hill.
Rugby remained dangerous but their task appeared to have become a whole lot harder ten minutes from time when former Reds forward Danico Johnson was sent off following a clash with Dan Summerfield.
However, just two minutes later the visitors made it 2-2 when Simeon Tulloch’s good work on the left saw him put a cross into the Redditch box which found another former United man – Keenah Rosser – and the defender planted an excellent header past Louis Connor.
Then, in stoppage time, substitute Lewis Rankin touched a cross into the path of Evans who swept in unmarked in the box to give Rugby the lead before completing his hat-trick in the dying seconds after good work from Richard Blythe.
Meanwhile, the Reds’ league match at Stratford Town has been rescheduled to take place on Saturday, September 22 following both sides’ early exits from the FA Cup.
United will have the chance to earn revenge over Rugby Town when the north Warwickshire side return to the TRICO in the first round of the Birmingham Senior Cup on Tuesday, October 23.