REDDITCH United triumphed in a five-goal thriller against Nuneaton Borough to advance in the Southern League Challenge Cup after a youthful Reds side secured a 3-2 victory at the Trico Stadium.
A brace from Hamza Kaid twice brought Redditch level before Callum Niven scored what proved to be the winning goal on 69 minutes with a poacher’s finish at the near post.
Louis Baker and Carl Baker had put Nuneaton ahead in the opening 15 minutes but United’s young side rose to the challenge to progress to the next round of the cup.
Victory was a welcome sight to Reds manager Matt Clarke although he could not have wished for a worse start when L Baker beat Kieran Boucher at his near post after just four minutes.
However, Redditch restored parity shortly after when Tiago Nassuncolo’s cross from the left found Kaid in space at the back post to tap home for his first United goal.
Clarke’s side fell behind again less than 60 seconds after drawing level when C Baker’s low finish found the net to restore Nuneaton’s lead in a goal-laden opening 15 minutes.
The chances continued to flow when Kieran Day was played through and came within inches of drawing the visitors level only for Nuneaton’s Thomas Armitage to clear his effort off the line.
Redditch then spurned a golden chance to equalise when Tigao was taken out by Gift Mussa in the box only for Niven’s penalty to be well-saved by Borough keeper Tony Breeden.
Just before half-time, Tiago beat two men before cutting inside and seeing his effort kept out by Breeden’s legs despite the Nuneaton stopper being wrong-footed.
The Reds finally found their leveller on 47 minutes when Luke Cox played-in Kaid down the left before cutting inside and powering an effort past Breeden for his second goal of the night.
However, shortly after there was a lengthy stoppage to treat Kaid with Cox heading narrowly over from the resulting free-kick.
Nuneaton keeper Breeden then made a pair of excellent saves to deny both Jade Ferron and Kaydon May before Redditch finally took the lead.
Tiago broke free down the right before drilling a low cross into the box that was expertly tucked away by on-loan Burton Albion man Niven at Breeden’s near post.
Redditch return to league action against Hednesford Town tomorrow afternoon with kick-off at 3pm at Keys Park.