"Bucks looking to bounce back at Redditch"
Match Date : August 14th, 2023 7:45 pm
Competition : Southern League Premier Central
Ground : Valley Stadium, Bromsgrove Road, Redditch, Worcestershire, B97 4AU
Kick Off : 19:45
After defeat at Leiston on Saturday, the Bucks have the chance to immediatedly make amends this Monday night at Redditch.
The Reds were one of three teams who finished on 61 points last season, which saw them finish in 9th place. But despite being not too far away from the promotion picture, Redditch ended the campaign with a negative goal difference. And that’s perhaps one of the reasons why boss Matt Clarke oversaw something of a shake up of his squad this off season.
The Reds’ starting lineup on the opening day featured six new faces, with a further four summer signings on the bench. Among the arrivals are fullbacks Brad Burton and Jamie Melbourne (both Alvechurch), centre back Matty Hughes, who impressed last term for Walsall Wood, midfielders Gift Mussa (Tamworth) and AJ George (North Leigh) and forwards Jenson Cooper (AFC Rushden and Diamonds) and Jamie Insall (Halesowen). Former Buck, Jez Abbey also signed for the Reds this summer.
Last season’s top scorer Bernard Mensah joined Uxbridge in the summer, but former Gloucester City man Danny King offers a threat up front. Meanwhile, Redditch captain Reece Flanagan is among the division’s most consistent midfielders. And Flanagan was on hand to bag a brace on opening day as the Reds ran out 2-1 winners at Bromsgrove.
That result will have pleased Reds’ boss Matt Clarke, who has overseen a steady improvement at the Valley Stadium since he took the reins in September 2020. Clarke, who was the Bucks’ right back during the old Telford United’s final season, took his place in the Red’s hot seat not long after the Covid-19 pandemic saved Redditch from certain relegation. The Reds were rock bottom of the league when the 2019–20 season was curtailed in March 2020, but in the two full seasons with Clarke in charge Redditch have finished 15th and 9th.
AFC Telford’s previous three visits to the Valley Stadium produced one win, one draw and one defeat, although the Bucks have not made the trip to Redditch since 2010 – when the sides played out a 1-1.
The teams are, of course, very different since then, but both the Bucks and the Reds have mirrored each other’s records so far this season, with each side opening with a win before falling to defeat on Saturday – Redditch losing 3-1 at home to new boys Stamford this weekend. Both sides, then, will be looking for a reaction on Monday night.
You can purchase tickets in advance via the Redditch website.
Ground Address: The Valley Stadium, Bromsgrove Road, Redditch, Worcestershire, B97 4AU