Redditch United 3
Stratford Town 2
LIAM McDONALD has picked out Daniel Dubidat as a key man for Redditch this season – and so it proved on Monday as the striker’s double completed a second bank holiday win.
Reds boss McDonald told the Standard last week that the summer signing would make his presence felt after a belated start to the season and his two second-half goals completed a turnaround which had seemed unlikely when they went into half-time trailing 2-1.
But the interval was the turning point. An angry McDonald’s straight-talking focused the Reds’ attention and sparked a more purposeful performance which made it six games unbeaten and took them into the top ten in the Southern Premier table.
“I’m not a bawler or a shouter usually, I’m not overly aggressive,” said McDonald. “But football’s a passionate game and sometimes it needs a rollicking to change things around. I was pleased with the reaction I got.”
After a busy start, it was the Reds who went ahead on 24 minutes. Full-back Kyle Haynes galloped down the right and then twisted into the penalty area to pull the ball towards the near post and there was Jordan Archer to get in front of his marker and finish with real panache.
Yet the lead lasted barely a minute. Ex-Reds player Edwin Ahenkorah moved down the right, and slipped past one marker before steering a right-footed shot into net via the far post.
On the half hour Stratford moved 2-1 ahead, with Ahenkorah again on target. The striker started the move, then slipped the ball out to Rob Thompson-Brown on the left flank, before getting onto the end of a simple near-post cross for another expert touch.
After the break, McDonald’s words had their impact and the Reds cranked up the pressure before levelling on 65 minutes. Luke Shearer surged down the right, only to be stopped by Sam Adkins’ lunge to concede a penalty, and Dubidat coolly smacked home the spot-kick.
Then 14 minutes from time, Dubidat struck again, converting at the near post after Jamey Osborne curled in a pinpoint corner from the left.
It was hustle-bustle after that but Stratford’s day got worse in the 89th minute when referee Robert Hathaway – who flashed eight cards in total – showed Joe Halsall a second yellow card and then sent off Tyrone Fagan after he kicked out.
REDDITCH: Parsons; Haynes, Ashmore, Westbrook (Bunn 58), Mutton, Flanagan, Archer (Molyneux 68), Osborne, Dubidat, Carline, Shearer (Liburd 85).