REDDITCH United Ladies served notice of their ability to compete successfully at a higher level as they defeated Leafield Athletic 3-1 at the Trico Stadium on Sunday.
The friendly pitted Gary Barrell’s side against visitors who play a division above in the West Midlands Premier Division, in which Leafield have won three successive games and scored 17 goals in the process.
However, the Reds rose to the challenge as two goals from the talismanic Mckenzie Karas and a first of the season from player of the match Lily Eustace saw off the Birmingham side.
The hosts were soon into their stride as the midfield triangle of debutant Natalya Pulver and fellow 16-year-olds Hollie Congrave and Eustace impressed.
Karas and Eustace struck to give the home side a 2-0 lead but Leafield remained a threat on the counter-attack and pressed at a level Redditch had not seen since playing Coventry United earlier this season in the Birmingham County FA Cup.
However, despite this, the chances conceded were limited to speculative long range strikes, only for a defensive mishap to allow the visitors to halve their arrears before the break.
Leafield played some good football in the second half as they searched for an equaliser but United soaked up the pressure and a brilliant strike from Karas put the outcome beyond doubt.
The only disappointment of the day was the news Worcester United had edged to a 1-0 home win over Droitwich to leapfrog the Reds at the top of the Division One South league table.
Worcester have a one-point lead and a game in hand over Redditch, who play their penultimate match of the league campaign at Coventry Development on March 26.
MEANWHILE, the Reds have arranged transport for supporters to their League Cup final at Stone Dominoes in Staffordshire on Sunday, April 30 (1pm).
The opposition is still to be confirmed. All support is keenly welcomed as the Reds Ladies bid to bring silverware to the club.
The coach will depart the Trico Stadium about 11am and return for 6pm when the Reds Bar will be open. The cost is £10, whilst admission to the match is free. For more details or to book a place call or text Matt on 07960 351350.