REDDITCH earned a vital point in their battle to beat the drop from the West Midlands Premier Division as they drew 2-2 at promotion-chasing Market Drayton in Sunday’s rearranged fixture.
The match came just 24 hours after the Kingfishers were beaten 2-1 at Stafford despite a battling display in a match which saw them reduced to nine players at one point.
At Market Drayton, a much-changed Redditch side started with good attacking play and a goal from Pete Dawson put the high-flying hosts on the back foot.
After that Market Drayton stepped up the pressure with two quickfire goals, but Redditch did not crumble and another great team goal well finished by captain Steve Cook made it 2-2.
In the second half Redditch defended brilliantly to stop Market Drayton from scoring a third.
On Saturday (1.30pm) the Kingfishers host mid-table Ludlow.
The clash against fellow strugglers Stafford saw Redditch take an early lead through Callum Pace’s composed effort and they were unlucky not to get a second when a ‘goal’ from an unusual source – Jacob Beard – was disallowed.
The second half began with Redditch on the back foot and a goal from Stafford brought the score level.
It was an end to end match after this, but it all changed with five minutes to go when Redditch went down to nine men after a couple of yellow cards for bad tackling.
After this Stafford piled on the pressure and won several penalty corners in a row, which led to them bagging a last-gasp winner.
Redditch 2nds 2 Droitwich 5
West Midlands Division Two
REDDITCH 2nds gave second placed Droitwich a good game before the visitors emerged victorious.
As is becoming an unfortunately common theme with Redditch, a slow start was again punished by the opposition who were presented with chances in the first half which allowed them to take the lead via a penalty corner strike.
Droitwich then continued to press, being ably assisted by Redditch who seemed unable to keep possession of the ball, and the visitors scored twice more in open play before the break.
Going into half time having given gifted the opposition a 3-0 lead, Baker delivered a stern and honest pep talk, building on the positives from the first half to ensure Redditch competed harder and more consistently in the second period.
Against the run of play Droitwich made it 4-0 before Redditch’s first penalty corner was turned in at the third opportunity by the impressive Connor Adams, who worked relentlessly up front.
In the midfield, George Haslam put a great shift in, operating out of his usual comfort zone, and Applerley in defence looked impressive, pushing forward and delivering a killer ball into the D which allowed Dave Pilkington to deflect home a second Redditch goal.
Redditch pushed for further reward but it was Droitwich who scored again to put the outcome beyond doubt.
Redditch travel to Old Wulfrunians on Saturday looking to change their fortunes and leave with some of the points on offer.
REDDITCH 3rds also had two games over the weekend, the first of which saw them win 7-1 at home to Streetly on Saturday in West Midlands Division One.
Streetly are strong opposition but arrived with only nine players, however Redditch still had to play a good game to defeat a good side.
Redditch’s dominance showed with a score of 4-0 at half time, but Streetly did not hold back in the second half and scored a consolation goal.
However, Redditch managed to bag another three. Alan Povey and Ben Husband each scored hat-tricks and Brad Bush also netted.
Fifth placed Redditch visited Solihull Blossomfield on Sunday but were beaten 3-1.
The hosts took the lead before Wayne Beard tucked away a short corner to equalise, but Redditch were slow to get going in the second half and Solihull took advantage to regain the lead, before sealing victory late on following a period of end-to-end play.
REDDITCH’S mixed hockey team are playing the second round of the England Hockey Mixed Cup on Sunday against Edgbaston.
Redditch will go into the game as clear underdogs and anybody wishing to come and support is very welcome. The game is at Redditch Cricket, Hockey & Rugby Club and begins at 1.30pm.