REDDITCH UNITED missed the chance to reach the final of the Worcestershire Senior Cup after they were stunned 3-2 at home by Pershore Town.
Despite a gap of three divisions between the two teams, the Reds surrendered an early lead after Charlie Williams goal on 24 minutes put the home side in front.
However, Josh Willis levelled from the penalty spot two minutes later before further strikes from Scott Hammond on 47 minutes and Aidan Clark on 68 minutes left the Reds on the brink of defeat.
Substitute Ryan Boothe pulled a goal back for Redditch on 80 minutes but it was too little too late much to the frustration of the home fans inside the Trico Stadium.
The Reds started strongly and hit the bar early on through Dan Sweeney’s header before Luke Cox’s follow-up was headed off the line by a Pershore defender.
And Redditch continued to test the Pershore goal when Tiago Nassunculo was denied by Town goalkeeper Eddie Cox before Lewis Hudson’s ball flashed across the box.
However, the visitors spurned a golden chance to take the lead when Sam Clark was superbly denied by Reds goalkeeper Kieran Boucher when one-on-one after being played through by James Baldwin.
Moments later, Pershore were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area which was sent over the bar by Hammond.
Redditch made Pershore pay for those missed chances when Williams jinked his way into the box and found the right corner of the goal from Hudson’s lofted pass.
However, the Reds’ lead lasted less than two minutes when Ryan Wollacott was penalised for a sliding challenge on Sam Clark in the box and Willis stepped up to score the resulting penalty firing into the left corner of the goal.
Matt Clarke’s side responded when Jamie Ashmore picked up a loose ball before driving forwards and seeing a shot pushed away by Cox as the teams headed into the break level.
Redditch made a disastrous start to the second half when Hammond headed home from close range after he was left unmarked in the box to convert Baldwin’s hanging cross.
The Reds had a couple of chances to draw level with a pair of free-kick’s on the edge of the penalty area only for Sweeney and Boothe to see their efforts comfortably held by Cox in the Pershore goal.
And the visitors extended their lead when Clark produced a sublime turn to beat his marker and fire a low effort into the bottom right corner from the edge of the penalty area from Jake Cavens’s pass.
Pershore rode their luck from the restart when Cox pushed Boothe’s header at the back post onto the woodwork with the ball rebounding kindly into the keepers’ arms.
And Redditch almost reduced the deficit again when Cox made an instinctive save with his head to turn Aram Soleman’s effort around the post after a defensive mix-up.
The home side eventually found a way back into the game when Boothe headed in at back post from Ashmore’s cross to set up a grandstand finish.
However, Redditch were unable to force penalties as their Hellenic League Division One opponents held firm to cause an upset.