Redditch United 4 Bashley 0
LIAM McDonald insists his sights are firmly focused on the future after Redditch United ended a memorable league campaign in scintillating style.
Two goals from Jamie Molyneux plus strikes from Omari Sterling James and Jermaine Hylton were scant reward for a totally dominant display against basement side Bashley.
The victory - the Reds’ biggest league victory of the season - secured a top ten finish and proved manager McDonald and his backroom staff have laid the positive foundations to build.
It is ten years since the Reds’ promotion to the Conference North and if McDonald can keep this young, talented squad together, and, importantly, add to it, then the club can look forward with real intent.
McDonald praised the hard work and willingness to learn of his young charges, saluting them for putting the smiles back on the faces of Reds supporters after years of turmoil.
Saturday’s fixture certainly did that. Redditch were unstoppable against a Bash side that battled gamely but was simply swept aside by the hosts’ midfield power and attacking pace.
A tally of 16 shots on target and 11 off target, to Bashley’s total of three, plus ten corners to the visitors’ one showed the extent of the Reds’ control. But for some wayward finishing and a couple of blinding saves, Redditch could have hit double figures.
It took 15 minutes to open the scoring after midfielder Sam Youngs had been sent sprawling inside the penalty area by Adam Flint’s lunge and a spot-kick awarded. Youngs’ penalty was perfectly struck but two inches too high and thundered against the crossbar, only for Sterling James to drill home the rebound.
The lively Molyneux doubled the lead three minutes before half-time, tapping home from three yards after Hylton outpaced Luke Ansell down the right and saw his shot blocked by keeper Monty George.
Another dazzling run, this time from Sterling James whose twinkling feet took him past three defenders, led to the third goal on the hour mark, with Molyneux diverting the pull-back with a near-post finish.
Two superb one-handed saves from George kept out stinging shots from Molyneux and Hylton but top scorer Hylton deservedly got on the score sheet two minutes from time with a delightful 20-yard curler for his 19th goal of the season.
It was the perfect ending to the league campaign, and a confidence-building win to take into next Tuesday’s (MAY 6) Worcestershire Senior Cup final against Evesham United at Kidderminster Harriers’ Aggborough home.
REDDITCH: Hornby 6; Oshungbure 6, Clarke 7, Flanagan 7, Coates 6; Hylton 7, Sammons 6 (Amoako, 75), Bridgwater 7 (Ahenkorah, 62, 6), Youngs 6; Sterling James 7 (Young, 62, 6), Molyneux 8. Subs not used: McDonald, Catlow.
BASHLEY: George; Gazzard (Brookes, 23), Marden, Ansell, Flint; Strickland, Odam, Morris, Manders; Joyce, Soetan.
REFEREE: Grant Taylor.