REDDITCH United face a vital game at home to Hitchin Town on Saturday as they bid to get their Southern League Premier Division play-off challenge back on track.
The Reds have suffered successive defeats at fellow promotion hopefuls Truro City and Cirencester Town and have slipped to sixth place – two points below fifth placed Hungerford Town in the fifth and final play-off spot – although Liam McDonald’s side do have a game in hand on the Berkshire outfit.
Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Cirencester disappointed McDonald, who said he was forced to question his side’s desire as the hosts secured a win which moved them within three points and one place of United.
McDonald has been full of praise for his side’s attitude and commitment throughout this campaign and has called on them to put the Cirencester display out of their system when they face another side hopeful of forcing their way into the play-off places in the shape of eighth placed Hitchin.
The Reds, who recovered from a goal down to lead 2-1 at half time on Saturday thanks to Ashley Sammons’ penalty and a Luke Shearer goal, only to be sunk by two second half goals from the hosts, were denied the chance to bounce back in midweek when Wednesday’s scheduled match at Cambridge City was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
Now back on home soil after three successive away games, Redditch head into the Hitchin clash boosted by the arrival of striker Courtney Baker-Richardson.
The 19-year-old, who was on Coventry City’s books during the 2013/14 season, has arrived from Northern League Division One South outfit Romulus, for whom he has scored 11 goals this season.
McDonald said he had been chasing the signature of the pacy forward for some time and predicted a bright future for a player who was his first choice to replace Jermaine Hylton following his switch to Swindon Town.
“Courtney is 6ft 2in and is blessed with lightning pace, complemented by strong physical attributes.” said the manager.
“I am really looking forward to working with Courtney. He’s a special player and has all the attributes to progress into full-time football.”
THE REDS’ Worcestershire Senior Cup semi-final at home to Conference North side Worcester City has been rearranged to take place on Tuesday, February 17.