REDDITCH United were able to enjoy some welcome respite from their recent woes as they continued their progress in the League Challenge Cup with a 2-0 home win over Hednesford Town.
Tuesday’s second round victory against the Southern Premier Central title-chasing Pitmen was an impressive result for the Reds, who had suffered an eighth successive league defeat on Saturday when Kings Langley left the Trico Stadium with a 2-0 victory despite a much-improved Redditch showing.
Although Ian King’s Reds are firmly entrenched in a Southern Premier Central relegation battle, they are at least enjoying some cup success and can take some confidence into Saturday’s FA Trophy second qualifying round tie at league rivals Barwell, who thumped Bromsgrove Sporting 7-2 in their first qualifying round replay and were 1-0 winners at the Trico in the league last month.
Redditch took a fourth-minute lead in midweek when Jak Hickman – who had already seen his deflected cross strike the bar – produced a fine piece of play on the wing and he skinned his man before whipping in a low cross which could only be deflected into his own net by Charlie Gatter.
The visitors enjoyed long spells of possession but never truly threatened an equaliser, other than when the ball was almost bundled over the line through a mass of bodies following a corner just before half-time, but Reds keeper Kieran Boucher kept hold of the ball under pressure and his side were eventually awarded a free kick.
Michael Nelson almost doubled the hosts’ lead on the hour mark with a fine solo run on the left in which he beat several defenders before striking a powerful effort at goal which almost caught out Town keeper Andy Wycherley at the near post.
The outcome was put beyond doubt seven minutes from time when skipper Josh Martin had his shirt pulled by Gatter in the box at a corner and the impressive Jamie Lucas converted the penalty into the bottom left corner as Wycherley went the other way.
There was plenty of endeavour from the Reds on Saturday but they got no rewards for their efforts against Kings Langley.
Romario Martin, Kurtis Revan and Hickman were all denied on multiple occasions by visiting keeper Melvin Minter as the young Reds side battled gamely but lacked a cutting edge.
Kings Langley then made the most of their escapes to seal victory with two goals in the final 15 minutes from Mitchell Weiss and Louis Collier.
Redditch have been drawn to visit Southern League Division One South’s Evesham United in the last eight of the Worcestershire Senior Cup. The date is still to be confirmed.
United’s league visit to Bromsgrove Sporting – originally scheduled for this weekend – will now take place on Tuesday, December 17.
ALVECHURCH return to Southern Premier Central action on Saturday with a trip to Rushall Olympic before another away game at current leaders Tamworth on Tuesday.