REDDITCH United can look forward to an FA Cup second qualifying round derby at local rivals Stratford Town after in-form striker Spencer Weir-Daley bagged the winner in Saturday’s hard fought 1-0 win at Lincoln United.
The Reds had exited the FA Cup at their first hurdle in the previous six seasons, but Weir-Daley’s 43rd-minute goal proved enough to seal a first victory in the world’s most famous cup competition since the 2010 success against Hinckley United and pocket a valuable £3,000 in prize money.
The first half was evenly matched as Northern League opposition Lincoln – who play their football a tier below the Reds – gave Darren Byfield’s side some headaches.
However, after Weir-Daley and strike partner Danico Johnson had already gone close, the pair combined to put the visitors ahead two minutes before half time when Johnson surged away on the left and centred for Weir-Daley to fire home from 12 yards and take his seasonal tally to an impressive five goals – joint top for United alongside Dior Angus.
Redditch asserted their authority on proceedings in the second half and impressive substitute McCauley Manning twice went close, including forcing Jake Turner into a superb diving save.
Johnson was crowded out as he looked set to double the visitors’ lead, although the hosts did pile on some late pressure which proved to no avail as the Reds’ rearguard – impressively marshalled by Marcel Simpson – stood firm.
Redditch will visit Stratford – unbeaten so far this season – in the second qualifying round on Saturday, September 16 and three days later comes a Birmingham Senior Cup first round tie at Alvechurch on September 19 (7.45pm).
Prior to this, Byfield’s fifth placed men face a stern test of their Southern League Premier Division credentials over the coming days as Saturday’s visit of Chesham United to the Trico is followed by a Tuesday trip to much-fancied Banbury United, who have won their opening five games of the league campaign.