MANAGER Liam McDonald believes striker Daniel Dubidat could prove the key to turning draws into victories for Redditch United.
The Reds boss was left somewhat frustrated after watching his side held to a third successive Southern League Premier Division draw on Monday as Hungerford Town left the Valley Stadium with a 2-2 draw, two days after McDonald’s men had been pegged back in a 1-1 scoreline at Biggleswade Town.
United played some enterprising football in both matches, particularly in explosive starts to each game, but profligacy in front of goal and some exceptional finishing from the opposition meant four points were surrendered, leaving the Reds still seeking a first win after four matches.
However, Monday’s match saw the first competitive action in a Reds shirt for Dubidat following his summer switch from Bedworth United as the club captain made a 75th minute appearance as a substitute and he showed in his brief cameo what he can bring to the team.
McDonald, whose side host a Cambridge City team with three wins to their name already this season on Saturday, said: “We’ve missed Daniel (Dubidat), there’s no doubt about that. I cannot fault any of the forwards for their efforts so far but Daniel will bring something different because he’s such a clever player.
“He will come into contention for a start on Saturday and we will be better for having him on the pitch. As the club captain he’s an inspirational character to the rest of the squad and really he’s going to be my right-hand man on the field.
“We’ve got three points from four games having dominated large parts of three of those matches. If Dubidat had played those games would we have more points? I’d have to say we’d have five or six more points yes.”
On Saturday Redditch travelled to Bedfordshire to face a Biggleswade side who had won their opening two fixtures and scored nine goals in the process, but it was the visitors who showed all the attacking intent from the off as they tore into their opposition.
However, the Reds had only a 14th minute goal from Jordan Archer – who missed two excellent further chances – to show for their efforts and, as McDonald warned his side at the interval, had left themselves open to a sucker-punch, which duly arrived on the hour mark as Sam Merson sent a 40-yard effort over stranded keeper Stuart Parsons and into the net.
“Saturday was disappointing,” said McDonald. “We had four clearcut chances in the first 35 minutes and they hadn’t had a shot in anger, but we were wasteful and got punished.”
Two days later Redditch again started brightly against Hungerford as Kyle Haynes and Robbie Bunn (twice) came close, but it was the visitors who opened the scoring thanks to a fine strike from Kelvin Bossman and they then doubled their advantage in the 34th minute when Bossman took advantage of hesitancy in the home rearguard to score with ease.
However, to their credit, Redditch rallied and they had hauled themselves level by half time. Firstly, George Carline headed home from Jamey Osborne’s corner in the 40th minute and midfield playmaker Osborne then turned from creator to finisher on the stroke of the break as he finished superbly from just outside the box.
The second half did not serve up as much excitement though and, despite trickery from Dubidat leading to Hungerford Town defender Jon Boardman collecting a second yellow card and being dismissed in the 77th minute, the hosts could not find what would have been a precious winner.
However, McDonald was pleased by his side’s efforts on Monday, adding: “We are slowly getting there I think. It’s taking a bit of time because of the large turnover of players but I’m hoping Monday’s battling display can act as a catalyst now.
“We have a goal threat about us and we showed a lot of character and heart, which is very important.”