REDDITCH United will head into Saturday’s exciting FA Trophy second qualifying round tie at home to Northern League Premier Division outfit Trafford bidding to bounce back after seeing their eight-game unbeaten league and cup run ended by Tuesday’s Red Insure League Cup second round defeat at Rugby Town.
Liam McDonald’s side were beaten 3-2 at Butlin Road as their opponents – who play a tier below the Reds – recorded an impressive victory.
The cup exit came just three days after United had continued their magnificent Southern League Premier Division form with a 4-0 win at Frome Town which cemented fourth place thanks to goals from George Carline, Dior Angus, Jermaine Hylton and Ashley Sammons.
Redditch were in rampant form in Somerset and had already struck the bar through Hylton before Carline gave them a 26th minute lead by converting the rebound after Frome keeper Darren Chitty had thwarted Hylton.
Although the hosts hit the post in the first half it was Redditch who dominated throughout and they made it 2-0 in the 46th minute when Sammons and Carline combined to set up Angus to net his first goal for the club.
Hylton capped a brilliant team move for the visitors’ third goal and Sammons’ superb long range strike made it 4-0 before the former Birmingham City and Worcester City midfielder fired a stoppage time penalty against the bar after Jamie Spencer had been upended in the box.
However, despite taking their goals tally to a staggering 36 in nine games, United were beaten in a thrilling game at Southern League Division One Central outfit Rugby in midweek as the hosts booked their place in the last 16.
Lewis McBride and Justin Marsden both went close for Rugby in the opening exchanges, with McBride unleashing a decent shot after he had ghosted past his marker and Marsden then testing United keeper Brad Catlow with a well struck effort.
Despite this early promise, Town fell behind when Spencer tapped in from a few yards out after Leavi Oshungbure had crossed to the near post on 15 minutes.
The hosts were soon level though as the prolific David Kolodynski clipped the ball home from a tight angle after McBride had helped it into the penalty area.
Marsden then gave Rugby the lead when his low strike beat Catlow after McBride had once more provided the valuable assist at the end of a flowing move from the hosts.
At the other end Carline should have equalised before half time but he sent his shot from close range high over the bar.
The visitors had their best spell of the game immediately after the restart as Sammons and Spencer fired efforts wide and it was no surprise when Hylton restored the game to a state of parity once more with a powerfully struck shot from 20 yards which gave Town keeper Richard Morris no chance.
Kolodynski then drew a good save from Catlow and substitute Lewis Rankin struck the post from the subsequent play before Kolodynski sealed victory five minutes from time with a trademark lob over the keeper’s head.
Redditch now turn their attentions to the FA Trophy as they seek to build on their impressive 1-0 win at fellow Southern League Premier Division high-flyers Corby Town in the previous round and chase the £3,250 prize money on offer to the victors.