ANOTHER slow start proved costly for Redditch as they were beaten 3-2 at Stourport 2nds in their first away game of the West Midlands Division One season.
Just as they had in the 3-3 draw against Stafford seven days earlier, the Kingfishers soon found themselves behind, this time to a penalty flick. Redditch soaked up more pressure before Stourport’s centre forward cleverly made space at a short corner to slot home and make it 2-0 going into half-time.
The second half was more positive as Redditch started to press forward, working hard and playing with good intensity to create chances and Mike Slater slotted home to bring Redditch back into contention.
Further pressure resulted in Redditch hitting the post twice through James Makin and Jacob Beard before Stourport eased the pressure on themselves by scoring from another set-piece to make it 3-1.
With two minutes to go, Beard scored another good team goal, but it was too little, too late as Stourport’s clinical set-pieces proved the difference.
The Kingfishers host Leek 3rds on Saturday (1.30pm).
Redditch 2nds were edged out 3-2 by visitors Sutton Coldfield in the South West Premier, whilst Redditch Ladies were beaten 5-1 by visitors Tenbury and the ladies 2nds were thrashed 11-0 at home by Tenbury 2nds.
It was also a day to forget for Redditch 3rds who lost 3-1 at Bridgnorth in South West Two.
The hosts were dominant in the first half and finished it with a 3-0 advantage, although the visitors went close when Jack Gwyer’s shot flew just over the crossbar.
Redditch were much-improved in the second period and, as the game become more stretched, Tim Gibbs won a penalty corner which the penalty corner team of Luke Baker, James Browning and Callum Jones took, with Baker’s strike soaring into the right corner of the goal.
Redditch 4ths clinched a highly impressive 9-2 home win over Finchfield 5ths in South West Four.
Both midfielder Ben Morris and forward Alan Povey netted two goals apiece, but the outstanding performance came from Alfie Wheeler in left midfield who, combining particularly well with Morris, scored five times.
What was quite apparent was this was a Redditch team playing with and for each other, bringing the best out of everyone.
Redditch Badgers went down 3-0 to Evesham White on Saturday in a game in which Redditch were unlucky not to get at least a point.
The Kingfishers started brightly and dominated much of the first half, with slick passing through the midfield to the forward line which resulted in several penalty corners. Unable to convert though, it was Evesham who took the lead late in the first half.
Undeterred, Redditch continued to battle throughout the second half but were unable to capitalise on their possession and they were punished at the other end.