THREE goals in four first half minutes proved more than enough for Needham Market to inflict a 22nd successive Southern Premier Central defeat on Redditch United on Saturday.
In front of another hardly surprising sparse crowd of 126, the Reds never threatened to halt their horror run despite the visitors from Suffolk being far from fluent themselves in their 3-0 success.
United debutant and former Wolves U18s midfielder Akeal Rehman nearly got on the end of a neat pass early on but Needham keeper Finley Shorten was just able to gather the ball on his league debut having replaced Marcus Garnham in the warm-up.
Home keeper Kieran Boucher was soon called into action to save from Billy Hunt, before United captain Tom Rankin headed just over from a corner.
If it had been an even start to the match, it soon became one-way traffic and relentless pressure from the visitors was rewarded when Adam Mills sent over a teasing cross which Callum Page cleverly dummied, allowing Craig Parker to convert from close range.
Two minutes later Parker’s shot was superbly blocked by Boucher, only for the rebound to drop for Billy Hunt who had no trouble in making it 2-0.
A rout was on the cards and it became 3-0 on 31 minutes when Jake Dye sped down the right and crossed for Page to neatly slide the ball beyond Boucher into the corner of the net.
All Redditch could muster in response was Randane Larmond’s 20-yard free kick which he fired into the wall.
The second half was a more even affair with clear chances at a premium and Redditch heads did not drop after the interval, but unless radical changes are made then there will be many more days like this.
Redditch, who have signed 24-year-old attacking midfielder Stefan Blake from Midland League Premier Division side Racing Club Warwick, now travel to AFC Rushden & Diamonds, who have made Saturday’s fixture at Hayden Road a ‘pay what you want’ match.
REDS fans can have their say on the state of affairs at the club at a question and answer session in the Trico Stadium function room on Wednesday, February 5 (7.30pm).
Chairman Chris Swan will be joined by first team staff and others to answer questions and set out his plans for the club’s future.
Anyone unable to attend the event is encouraged to email questions to the club at email@example.com by Tuesday.