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Redhead hopes win is a catalyst
9:24am Wednesday 6th February 2013 in Local Sport
SOMETIMES it takes a stroke of luck to transform a season and Redditch United boss Simon Redhead appreciated the uncanny turn of fate which led him to field match-winner Will Richards as an emergency striker in Saturday’s vital victory over St Neots.
With Danny Edwards recalled by Worcester City the night before and Lyndon Dovey still unable to play because of a recurring injury, Redhead was forced to play central midfielder Richards as a makeshift frontman.
But the change of position worked a treat as Richards bagged the winner at the Valley Stadium in the 45th minute to ensure the Reds won their first match in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division in three months and recorded a league double over their Cambridge-based opponents.
Victory ensured United, who occupy the second relegation spot, are level on points Hitchin Town and only behind them on goal-difference.
“I was delighted with the win,” said Redhead. “It was a workman-like performance and everybody rolled up their sleeves to get us the win.
“Will Richards was fantastic but it was lucky I played him up front.
“Danny Edwards was recalled by Worcester because they had quite a few players out injured and Lyndon Dovey also still had a niggly problem.
“If not for those absences, Will would have been in midfield and it might have affected the result.
“We had to play Will up front with Dean Bennett behind and they were brilliant.
“This season we’ve lacked someone up front to dominate defenders and we’ve been bullied but he won the ball and when he didn’t, Dean picked up the loose balls.
“But everyone did a good job. Connor Deards had his best game for us and Zac Costello also made a big impact at the back.”
They then face Hitchin next Tuesday at the Valley in a relegation six-pointer (7.45pm ko).
With points still urgently needed to soothe their relegation fears, Redhead is not under any illusion that the job is done yet.
He said: “We’ll go there without any fear at all, our confidence has been lifted. If you look at our league position we are where we deserve to be.
“We’ve played a lot of the top teams and and now we face many of the sides around us in the bottom half of the table.
“There’s a long way to go but this a great way to kick-off the second half to our season.
“I think we’re a better team than we were at the start of the campaign.
“We had a lot of technically gifted players but we lacked a lot of the fight we needed but now I think we’ve got that.”
Redditch are trying to bring in midfielder George Washboure on-loan from Forest Green Rovers.
Meanhile, they book their place in the final of the Worcestershire Senior Cup on Tuesday night by seeing off Kidderminster Harriers 2-1.
United had been trailing 1-0 after an unfortunate own goal by keeper Bradley Catlow but late strikes for Leavi Oshungbure and Callum Flanagan saw the Reds power to victory.