By Liam Moakes Thursday 01 November 2012 Updated: 01/11 13:01
THERE was further proof of the burgeoning youth set-up at Redditch United as Reserves graduate Leavi Oshungbure starred in Saturday's Southern League Premier Division defeat at home to Barwell.
The 1-0 defeat was a second league loss in a row for Simon Redhead's men but the performance of half time substitute Oshungbure was a major plus point in highlighting the work going on at the Valley to improving the U18s, U21s and Reserves sides.
An important home match against St Albans City now awaits the Reds on Tuesday as they bid to ensure they are not dragged back towards the danger zone.
Saturday's encounter saw little in the way of goalmouth action, as Joel Grandison and Will Richards had the hosts' only efforts of note in a first half in which neither keeper made a save worthy of the description.
Oshungbure replaced Liam McDonald at the break and instantly livened up proceedings as he weaved his way towards goal before forcing Barwell's Liam Castle into a smart save.
He continued to impress but it was Barwell who struck on the hour when Tom Weale converted at the far post and, despite late efforts from Mark Hands and Grandison, there was no reward for the Reds as the Leicestershire side moved into the play-off places.
Redditch's U18s side continued their winning streak in the Midland Floodlit Youth League Cup against Sporting Khalsa at the Asprey Arena with a 4-0 victory on a practically waterlogged pitch with goals from George Westwood, Josh Weatherby and a brace from Danny Brain.
On Wednesday (7.45pm) the U18s play Rugby Town FC at the Valley in the prestigious Birmingham FA Youth Cup and need as many fans as possible to support them in this difficult tie. Entrance is £1 for U18s and OAPs and £3 for all others.
United Reserves made progress in Midland Combination Reserve League Division One with a fine 3-0 win over Banbury United at the Spencer Stadium.
Reds, under the guidance of new manager Justin Fowkes, brought in some new faces with a mixture of this year's U21s, Reserves and new signing Brendan Hicks, a talented local striker.
Oshungbure opened the scoring in the 12th minute but Banbury continued to look organised, with Henry Rose up front forcing Reds keeper Danny Payne into some smart work.
Midway through the first half Reserve team debutant Seb Jenkins won an initial challenge 30 yards from the opposition goal and then created half a yard before unleashing a powerful shot which doubled the visitors' lead.
After the restart Redditch brought on Craig Nolan to liven up their midfield and it worked before further changes saw the pacy Adrian Hylton replace Seb Jenkins and another U21 debutant, Ash Granville, replace Joe Mogg, and both in turn caused problems for Banbury on the wings.
The final goal came from debutant Hicks who showed great composure to beat the keeper from ten yards.
Seventeen-year-olds Dan Randall and Dan Hayes made the step up from the U21s and produced solid performances, Craig Malins' workrate, aerial threat and desire made him a constant menace and Moggy, Jordan Porter and Hoshain played important roles too.
Reds' next home game is tomorrow (3pm) against Loughborough Dynamo Reserves in the Challenge Trophy and entrance is free.
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