Late goals see Reds stun Harriers in Senior Cup

First published in Local Sport

Harriers 1, Redditch United 2

TWO late goals for never-say-die Redditch  ensured they booked their place in the Worcestershire Senior Cup final and got one over high-flying Harriers at Aggborough on Tuesday night.

United had been trailing because of keeper Bradley Catlow's unfortunate own goal but substitute Leavi Oshungbure and defender Callum Flanagan pounced in the final five minutes to turn the match on its head.

Victory was just reward for United's persistence in a game marred by torrential rain.

With Harriers boss Steve Burr on England C duty, assistant boss Gary Whild took the reins against his former club, who he helped keep in the Conference North.

Harriers fielded a strong side containing nine first team squad members and two academy products in Judd Ellis and defender Tyrone Williams.

Redditch had former Kidderminster midfielder Jack Cresswell in their starting Xl but were without ineligible duo Dean Bennett and Zac Costello, who both played for the Aggborough outfit.

It was United who would have been happier with the first half as the produced a solid defensive display and were keen hit the home side on the break.

Connor Deards had a chance to put the away team ahead early on but shot wide.

At the other end, Ryan Rowe drove forward and saw a low effort skim off target.  But the hosts were denied a stone cold penalty on the 30 minute mark when defender Flanagan palmed Ricky Shakes' cross behind but referee Wayne Barrett signalled for a corner.

Redditch nearly took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Will Richards rose highest to a Josh Quaynor free-kick and directed his header just wide.

Harriers started the second half with more tempo but it needed a stroke of luck for the home team to take the lead in the 58th minute.

Keeper Catlow was caught out by the wet ball and allowed Shakes' up and under to squirm from his grasp and over the line.

Richards nearly replied for United with a bullet header which was the wrong side of the near post.

But Harriers controlled the second period, despite the raining increasing throughout.  United substitute Jermain Hylton squandered a gilt-edged chance to force extra-time in the 82nd, firing wide of an open goal after keeper Nathan Vaughan had been already made a smart save.

But Redditch gained the upper hand in the final ten minutes and two goals changed the complexion of the match.

Substitute Oshungbure slammed home an 85th leveller before Flanagan bundled the ball over the line to confirm a fine win for Simon Redhead's improving Southern League Premier relegation battlers.

Harriers: Vaughan, Jackman (Johnson, 78), T Williams, M Williams, Vincent, Rowe, Gittings, Pilkington (Demetriou, 58), Ellis (Parsons-Smith, 53), Shakes, Blissett.

Subs: Lewis, Long.

Redditch: Catlow, Moran, Charlton, Dovey (Hylton, 66), Flanagan, Hands (Jenkins, 81), Deards, McDonald, Cresswell (Oshungbure, 74), Quaynor.

Subs: Oshungbure, Hylton, Jenkins.

Referee: Wayne Barratt (Worcs)

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