REDDITCH United failed to end their away day misery after the Reds suffered a 1-0 defeat against 10-man Needham Market.
The Reds were made to pay the penalty after Luke Ingram’s second-half spot kick proved decisive despite Christian Frimpong’s dismissal before the break at Bloomfields.
And the result means Redditch sit 10th in the Southern League Premier Central table.
Matt Clarke’s side were down to the bare bones as academy scholar Adam Hanson and Aram Soleman were both named in the starting lineup as the latter made his first league start of the campaign.
And Needham hit the post in the opening few minutes as Luke Brown’s effort came back off the woodwork before the Reds survived a goalmouth scramble.
Redditch grew into the game and somehow failed to take the lead when Max Sheaf’s near post corner was flicked on by Ryan Wollacott and saved by Marcus Garnham before Bernard Mensah’s follow up was cleared off the line.
The Reds spurned another chance to break the deadlock when Sheaf, Soleman and Mensah combined as the ball eventually found Hanson who crossed for Mensah only for the striker to be denied the opener by a superb last ditch challenge.
And the visitors almost pounced on a poor Garnham clearance soon after as the Needham keeper recovered to tip Sheaf’s audacious long range effort over the bar.
Redditch received a boost shortly before half time when Mensah beat Frimpong to a loose ball and the referee showed the Needham player a second yellow card.
From the resulting free-kick, Wollacott’s powerful shot was well-saved by Garnham as Ioan Richards turned home the rebound only to be flagged for offside.
However, the Reds were outplayed in the second half despite having the man advantage as Adam Harrison made a number of early saves.
And the home side went close again as Harrison kept out Ingram’s shot on the turn before Thomas Fitzgerald curled a stunning effort against the post as the woodwork came to Redditch’s rescue for a second time.
Needham made their dominance count on 65 minutes when Ingram scored from the penalty spot after Murphy Culkin was deemed to have fouled the home player inside the area.
Despite strong protests, the referee stuck with his original decision following a brief consultation with his assistant after Redditch argued the foul was committed outside the box.
Clarke handed a debut to forward Ivan Ankrah from the bench after Hanson was forced off with cramp as Riley O’Sullivan went closest for the Reds in the final minutes as Garnham pushed his attempted lob to safety.
Redditch are next in action at home to AFC Rushden and Diamonds on Saturday, March 18 with kick-off at 3pm at the Trico Stadium.