THE MISERY continues for relegation-haunted Redditch United after Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat at home to fellow strugglers Stratford Town extended their run of Southern Premier Central defeats to 19.
With 17 matches remaining and the Reds 11 points from safety, the drop is now all but certain for Redditch, who on Saturday were brushed aside 3-0 at the Trico by Rushall Olympic, managed by former Reds boss Liam McDonald.
Things got no better three days later for Duane Darby’s side as former Redditch loanee Dan Sweeney – now on loan at Stratford from Solihull Moors – bagged both goals for Stratford, for whom victory ended their own terrible run of seven consecutive defeats.
Town soon squandered two gilt-edged chances to take the lead when on 17 minutes Dan Vann somehow headed wide from a Reece Flanagan left-wing corner when completely unmarked at the far post before a few minutes later Dan Alessi blazed over when the ball fell kindly to him after a free kick.
Sweeney then wasted another good opening when he fired over before finding the net just past the half-hour mark when he was bundled over in the box by Ronnie Hendricks before picking himself up to blast the ball past Kieran Boucher from the penalty spot.
With Sweeney looking lively, there appeared no way back for the hosts and it took them until the 50th minute to register their first effort of note when Gratias Katega fired goalwards following a corner.
Eight minutes later Boucher plunged to his left to push away a Flanagan free kick after Kynan Isaac had been brought down right on the edge of the penalty area.
Boucher made two more smart saves to keep his side in contention before the Reds had a good chance to level on 77 minutes, only for Luke Shearer to shoot into the side-netting despite finding himself with time and space to do better.
Three minutes later though, the outcome was put beyond doubt when Flanagan’s corner from the right caused mayhem in the Reds’ six-yard box and Sweeney pounced to lash the loose ball into the roof of the net.
Redditch travel to 16th-placed Lowestoft Town on Saturday before visiting current leaders Bromsgrove Sporting on Tuesday.