REECE Flanagan’s second-half brace helped Redditch United earn a come-from-behind victory away at local rivals Bromsgrove Sporting on the opening day of the season.
Flanagan levelled the game with a sublime free-kick before his penalty four minutes from time sealed victory after Prince Henry had opened the scoring at the Victoria Ground.
The win means Redditch have now won each of their last three matches against Sporting after Flanagan also scored the winner in the corresponding fixture last season.
Sporting’s first real sight of goal came when Callum King-Harmes drilled an effort inches wide of the post from the edge of the penalty area.
And the Rouslers went close to taking the lead shortly before half time when Keiron Berry cut in from the left and curled an effort narrowly wide of the post with Reds keeper Adam Harrison at full stretch.
Sporting won a free-kick in a central position soon after with Reds keeper Adam Harrison equal to Conor Tee’s effort from 20-yards out.
Bromsgrove remained on the front foot at the start of the second half as Harrison made an acrobatic stop to keep out Berry’s curling shot from the left.
However, Redditch spurned a gilt-edged chance to take the lead when a short back pass allowed Cooper in on goal only for Taylor to make an excellent save when one-on-one.
Sporting deservedly took the lead on 72 minutes when Henry controlled Berry’s cross from the left and coolly found the bottom right corner from close range.
However, Redditch equalised just two minutes later when Flanagan curled a stunning free-kick into the top left corner from 25-yards out.
Sporting had a chance to retake the lead when a corner from the left travelled all the way through to Henry who was unable to turn the ball home from six-yards out.
And Sporting were made to pay for that missed chance when the referee awarded Redditch a penalty after Aram Soleman went to ground in the box under a challenge from Kane Auld.
Reds midfielder Flanagan duly dispatched the resulting spot kick into the bottom left corner to complete an excellent comeback.
And the Reds comfortably saw out the remaining minutes to claim the local bragging rights and begin the season with an opening day victory.