FOOTBALL - Nesbitt stunner hands Reds opening day win - The Redditch Standard

FOOTBALL - Nesbitt stunner hands Reds opening day win

Redditch Editorial 8th Aug, 2022   0

RYAN Nesbitt’s second-half free-kick handed Redditch United an impressive 1-0 win away at Hednesford Town on the opening weekend of the Southern League Premier Central season.

Nesbitt scored his first competitive goal for the club in style as Matt Clarke’s side made the perfect start to the 2022/23 campaign at Keys Park.

Redditch celebrate Ryan Nesbitt’s winner. Picture by Neil Jay.

And the striker was first to test the Hednesford goal when his powerful shot was palmed clear before Hednesford went close with a header at the other end.

The home side finished the half strongly and forced Reds goalkeeper Kieran Boucher into a smart save low down to his right at his near post to keep the scores level.

And the Pitmen had another chance to take the lead just before half time when a driven cross caused chaos in the Redditch penalty area before Boucher gratefully claimed the loose ball.

The final chance of the half fell to the Reds as Max Sheaf curled a left-footed effort just wide of the top left corner.

And the visitors went close again at the start of the second period with Bernard Mensah left holding his head in his hands after he was inches away from meeting a cross from the left.

Reds boss Clarke was booked for dissent shortly after before Nesbitt scored the game’s decisive goal on 62 minutes when he curled a free-kick into the top left corner from the edge of the penalty area.

Substitute Ryan Boothe then went close with his first touch as he headed wide when unmarked before Ryan Wollacott made a superb tackle at the other end to keep Redditch ahead.

And more inspired defending ensured the Reds would go home with the points as Kieren Donnelly cleared Andre Landell’s header off the line.

Redditch survived one final scare after Boucher saved a shot that trickled along the line before Lewis Hudson cleared the ball to safety and was caught late by a dangerous challenge with Hednesford’s Joe Cuff shown a straight red card.

Next up for the Reds is a double header at the Trico Stadium with a home match against Kings Langley scheduled for Saturday, August 13 with kick-off at 3pm before hosting Stratford Town on Monday, August 15 with kick-off at 7.45pm.

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