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Saturday 4th February 2017           

Redditch United 0 vs 2 Chippenham Town

Reds Slide Continues

Former Red Will Richards strike helps to seal a defeat.
Former Reds defender Will Richards was on the scoresheet as league leaders Chippenham ran out winners at the Trico Stadium to maintain their place at the top of the table.

The visitors struck a first half double to wrap up the win and leave Darren Byfield’s side without a win since Christmas.

The manager named himself in the starting line-up and, along with strike partner Luke Keen, was one of the star turns on the home side. On loan keeper Luke O’Reilly, making his home debut, pulled off a couple of vital saves and midfielder Max Loveridge put in a typical all-action display.

But it was Chippenham who started the better with Joe McClennan scoring on nine minutes when he turned in the loose ball home after David Pratt’s initial effort had been saved.

Redditch’s best chance came midway through the half when a storming run from Loveridge was ended by a foul on the edge. The referee played the advantage as the midfielder stumbled on and forced Darren Chitty into a save. The ball broke for Byfield but he lashed his shot wide. Soon after, Byfield flashed another effort across goal as the Reds looked to level.

But the visiting defence, superbly marshalled by Richards, stood firm and it was the former Redditch favourite who doubled their lead on 37 minutes, stabbing the ball home following a corner.

Chippenham had the better of the second half although Byfield had an effort blocked in front of goal while Jordan Cullinane-Liburd headed over from a corner.

For the visitors, Richards was denied his second of the game when, from a corner, Loveridge cleared his header off the line. And then, six minutes from time, Andy Sandell crashed a ferocious effort against the Redditch crossbar following another corner.



Redditch United 0 vs 8 Frome Town

Lessons have been learned says determined Reds boss Byfield

REDDITCH United boss Darren Byfield says he learned several valuable lessons in management as Saturday’s horror show at Frome Town unfolded – and has vowed to put things right.  The Reds conceded five second half goals, including four in the final 14 minutes, as their play-off chasing hosts ran riot against a visiting side which in Byfield’s words “capitulated” in the 8-1 Southern League Premier Division defeat.

Byfield has reacted to the loss by releasing midfielder Reece Hales and attackers Simeon Cobourne and Danico Johnson from his squad.On the incoming front he has swooped to bring popular former Reds centre back and local lad Jim Mutton back to the Valley after a spell at Hednesford Town and as the Standard went to press was set to sign winger Charlie Morris from Solihull Moors.  However, Byfield accepts it is more than just personnel which needed to change in order to ensure there was no repeat.  “It was horrible watching us capitulate. To concede four times from corners in one match is simply unacceptable,” said the manager.  “We didn’t have anybody talking, there were no leaders on the pitch at all. The football we played was far too tippy-tappy and was getting us nowhere.  “It’s very annoying how inconsistent we have been this season and Saturday was the end for some players here.  “I know the result and performance has upset our fans and we owe them big style now, in particular the supporters who travelled to watch us. We will respond on Saturday at home to Biggleswade Town.”

Byfield revealed he has quickly learned that talent will only get you so far and knows a more physical approach will be required to get results on a consistent basis. “I’ve got footballers here, no question, but they are not getting in people’s faces. We need to start doing that and make life difficult for the opposition,” he added. “I want us to become a box to box team who defend and score goals. That’s not to say we have to become one-dimensional, but the game is about doing the basics in both boxes  “I thought I could mould certain players into winners but I’ve learned I can’t. I can spot talented players and work with them, but I also need to identify those willing to put their foot in.  “I’ll say this, we will be fired up for Saturday. The bucks stops with me.”

Byfield is delighted to welcome Mutton back to the Valley and says he is the type of player needed to help his side close the gap on the play-off places and also set foundations in place for next season. He said: “Jim is a Redditch boy. He’s got a pride about him which we need. He’d have kicked somebody over the stand to stop us conceding some of the goals we did on Saturday. “Charlie is a player who I know well from Solihull Moors and I think he can bring an extra dimension to our game.  “It’ll be a tough match against Biggleswade who’ve got a really powerful and in-form striker in the shape of Inih Effiong, but we need to stand up and do everything in our power to get the three points.”

One player who will not be moving to the newly-named Trico Stadium – at least for the time being – is Evesham United striker Lance Smith.  Smith has scored 26 goals for the Robins this season and is Division One South & West’s top scorer in helping his side into second place, tempting Byfield into making an approach for his services. However, after meeting the Reds boss, Smith has decided to stay put.  “Lance is a nice guy and was tempted to make the move, but for the moment has decided to stay with Evesham and help their promotion push,” said Byfield.  “He has shown loyalty, but it could be one we revisit in the future.”  

REDDITCH United are offering buy one get one half price admission prices for Saturday’s visit of Biggleswade Town.  In addition, there will be happy hour prices – £2.50 – on all draught beers between 2-3pm and 5-6pm in the Reds Bar.


Reds sides target home comforts

A BUSY weekend of football awaits at the newly-named Trico Stadium as Redditch United’s men’s and ladies’ teams return to action.

Darren Byfield’s men’s team play their first match since Boxing Day when King’s Lynn Town visit on Saturday, with United desperately needing maximum points to maintain their outside chance of making a push for the Southern League Premier Division play-offs.  Ninth placed Redditch, who saw their scheduled January 2 fixture at Merthyr Town postponed due to a frozen pitch, had to settle for a 0-0 draw against fellow top five hopefuls Banbury United on Boxing Day.

It was the Oxfordshire side who came closest to claiming all three points as they squandered a host of good chances, although striker Luke Keen did go close for Redditch.

Midfielder Ahmed Ali has departed United to return to former club Bromsgrove Sporting.

Sunday (2pm, free entry) brings a key fixture in the Reds Ladies’ hunt for the West Midlands Division One South title when they host fellow promotion hopefuls Worcester United. Gary Barrell’s table-topping Reds have an eight-point lead over second placed Worcester, who have five games in hand on the leaders in what is now almost certainly a two-horse race for the sole promotion place.  Redditch have won seven league matches in succession and been beaten just once in the league this season – 1-0 at Worcester in their opening game – although Barrell’s side earned an impressive 3-2 victory at the same opposition in their recent League Cup quarter-final.


No Joy on the road for United 

NEW signing Jhai Dhillon struck twice but Redditch United suffered a second successive Southern League Premier Division defeat as they were beaten 4-2 at promotion hopefuls Hitchin Town on Monday.Redditch, who were also beaten 2-1 at St Ives Town on Saturday, twice battled back from a two-goal deficit, only to see the Hertfordshire hosts restore their cushion and close out victory despite playing the second half with ten men.

Darren Byfield’s Reds have found clean sheets an all too rare commodity this season and such a scenario was never on the cards on Monday as the Canaries made a flying start. The hosts were 2-0 inside ten minutes after Dan Webb had bundled home Mason Spence’s cross and Matt Lench converted at the far post from Kane Smith’s dipping centre. Keeper Brad Catlow kept United in the contest with two smart saves before left-sided defender Dhillon – signed from league rivals Dunstable Town on the morning of the match – reduced the visitors’ arrears when he lobbed Town keeper Michael Johnson from the corner of the box after neat approach play from Max Loveridge and Luke Keen.

The goal gave Redditch increased belief and attackers Danico Johnson and Simeon Cobourne both threatened the home goal before the break.Byfield’s men were given further hope just before half time when influential Hitchin forward Brett Donnelly was sent off for catching Jordan Cullinane-Liburd with a flailing arm – an offence deemed worthy of a second yellow card.

However, the second half did not go to plan for United, who were not helped by referee Paul Forrester generously awarding the hosts a penalty when Cullinane-Liburd was deemed to have impeded Webb.Ben Walster tucked away the spot-kick in the 56th minute before Redditch enjoyed a slice of luck of their own on 65 minutes when Dhillon charged down Spence’s clearance and the ball looped into the home net. The best goal of the night was still to come three minutes later when Lewis Rolfe finished a fine passing move to make it 4-2 and ensure there were no further alarms for Hitchin.

On Saturday the Reds returned from Cambridgeshire empty-handed.

United, for whom Catlow saved an early penalty, were 2-0 down through Joshua Dawkin and Danny Kelly goals before Keen’s 64th-minute strike gave the visitors hope.

However, despite plenty of pressure on the St Ives goal, United returned empty-handed.

Byfield, who this week called for more leadership within the ranks, takes his seventh placed side to Basingstoke Town on Saturday.




Reds Lose At Hitchin

JHAI Dhillon’s double could not inspire Reds to a comeback from an awful start at play-off rivals Hitchin.
The Canaries threatened to soar away with the points after Dan Webb had bundled home Mason Spence’s cross and Matt Lench converted at the far post from Kane Smith’s dipping centre inside the opening 10 minutes. Hitchin shot from all angles in the opening 25 minutes but Brad Catlow saved well in slippery conditions from left-back Ben Walster and Josh Bickerstaff.

Dhillon, making his debut at left-back having signed on Monday morning from Dunstable Town, grabbed a lifeline from United’s first attack, lobbing home keeper Michael Johnson from the corner of the box following good work from Max Loveridge and Luke Keen. Reds spent the rest of the half on the front foot with Danico Johnson and Simeon Cobourne going close to equalising.

Town striker Brett Donnelly was sent off a minute before half-time having received a second booking for catching Jordan Cullinane-Liburd with a flailing arm. But Redditch failed to capitalise after the break and were forced back by the 10 men. Referee Paul Forrester controversially pointed to the penalty spot when Webb hit the deck while jostling with Cullinane-Liburd in the box. Walster slotted away the spot-kick 11 minutes into the second half.
Redditch halved the deficit again with a fortunate second on 65 minutes when Dhillon charged down Spence’s clearance and the ball looped over

Michael Johnson into the net. But within three minutes, the game was put to bed by a slick passing move which ended with Spence guiding into the feet of Lewis Rolfe to sweep under Catlow. Hitchin successfully stifled the rest of the match as Reds returned to the Valley empty handed.



Redditch Extend Unbeaten Run To Six Games - 8th Dec 2016

Redditch stretched their unbeaten run to six games with a hard-fought draw with basement club Cinderford Town.

The visitors have struggled since being promoted as last season’s Division One South and West champions but a change in manager has also brought about a change in fortunes for the Forest of Dean outfit who recently stunned high-fliers Chippenham with an heroic 3-2 win. And they started the better against the Reds, taking the lead after just six minutes when a delightful cross from Matthew Thomas was headed in by Gethyn Hill.

But this just seemed to jolt the home side into action and it was Redditch who were ahead just ten minutes later.

The equaliser came from the penalty spot on nine minutes, Luke Keen (pictured) sending Cameron Clarke the wrong way after he had been upended by the Cinderford keeper.

Clarke then did well to keep out Gurjit Singh’s curling effort on 15 minutes but, moments later, the Reds were ahead when Jordan Culinane-Liburd fired into the roof of the net after Danico Johnson’s close-range effort had been well saved.

Chances then dried up apart from a long-range Ahmed Ali strike which was pushed away by Clarke while, at the other end, Reds keeper Brad Catlow did well to block an effort from Cinderford dangerman Thomas.

The visitors started the second half in the same strong way as they started the first and Catlow did well to deny Thomas within two minutes of the restart but was beaten in the 53rd minute when substitute Callum Moonie found the net from 25 yards.

From then on it was anyone’s guess how this game would finish. Cinderford’s James Bloom headed against the woodwork on the hour with Simeon Cobourne being denied by the upright at the other end five minutes later.

But the best chances for the Reds came in the space of 60 seconds late in the contest. Firstly Keen saw his shot deflected onto the post and behind for a corner and then, from the flag kick, Culinane-Liburd was denied by an outstanding reflex save.

But there was still time for Cinderford to nearly snatch the win when substitute Karnell Chambers let fly from 20-yards with a shot that Catlow did well to tip over the crossbar.

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