September 22nd, 2016

Reds improve but it’s Brakes who prevail

REDDITCH United produced a vastly improved display at high-flying Leamington on Tuesday but saw the high-flying Brakes come from behind to win 2-1 in the Southern League Premier Division.

Reds boss Darren Byfield, who has revealed he is seeking new additions to the ranks, started for the visitors at the New Windmill as he looked to inspire a recovery from his side following Saturday’s 4-0 horror show defeat against Slough Town at the revamped Valley Stadium.

A first home defeat of the league season was on the cards for Leamington when Danico Johnson gave the Reds a second-minute lead with a near post header beyond Brakes keeper Tony Breeden.

Neither side created any notable chances in what was a poor 20 minutes following the opening goal, but shortly before the half-hour mark Leamington’s Ben George set up Jack Edwards, only for United keeper Brad Catlow to make a smart save.

Tom James saw his dangerous free kick bounce narrowly wide and Ryan Rowe was inches away from beating Catlow as Leamington pushed for an equaliser.

However, it was Redditch who could have extended their lead before the break as shouts for a penalty were turned down by the referee before Johnson missed a great chance when put clean through on goal as he fired straight at Breeden.

Leamington showed their title credentials in the second half as a corner was flicked goalwards by Darren Pond and Rowe was able to get the final touch on the line to make it 1-1 on 63 minutes.

Paul Holleran’s side pushed for a winner and Richard Taundry, James Mace and Connor Gudger all went close before they eventually found another breakthrough seven minutes from time.

Another dangerous Leamington corner caused panic in the Redditch defence and Edwards was the player who peeled away to celebrate what proved to be the winner.

It was a promising performance from the Reds, but Byfield will know their defending of set pieces needs to improve.

The Reds, who have slipped to 11th in the table, are without a game on Saturday and return to action on September 24 when Frome Town visit the Valley.

REDDITCH Borough’s first appearance in the FA Vase ended in defeat on Sunday as visitors Rocester secured a 5-2 victory in the first qualifying round.

Jak Albutt and Khurum Iqbal were the scorers for Borough, who visit Continental Star in Midland League Division Two on Saturday.

Borough are in seventh place with eight points from six matches.