Bashley 2, Redditch United 3
REDDITCH scooped three precious points on the road at struggling Bashley – but Liam McDonald’s men certainly made hard work of it.
United battered their beleaguered hosts during the first 45 minutes with goals from Jamie Molyneaux and Sam Youngs seemingly setting up a comfortable victory.
Rejuvenated Bash grabbed a goal through skipper Jack Odam just after the break before Jermaine Hylton restored the two-goal cushion with 13 minutes to play.
But Hylton went from hero to zero after being sent off for an unnecessary two-footed lunge on Taurean Manders late in the day with the hosts adding a second through Odam from the resulting free kick.
It was all set up for a grandstand finish but Reds held out relatively comfortably during the dying embers, despite their depleted numbers. Reds ripped into their New Forest counterparts from the outset and created a number of opportunities before taking the lead on 11 minutes.
An unmarked Levi Oshungbure, who had just re-entered the action after receiving treatment for a head injury, headed wide from a corner before a mazy run by Edwin Ahenkorah ended with Sam Youngs prodding wide when well-placed.
It came as no surprise when Reds made their breakthrough as Hylton drove into the penalty area and found Molyneaux to rifle home from close range.
Bash keeper Nic Jones pulled off a smart double stop from Molyneaux and Omari Sterling-James to prevent the visitors doubling their advantage within their first 15 minutes.
After a brief lull, United found another gear and could not believe their luck as Youngs’s driving run and shot ricocheted into the path of Nathan Jackson whose goalbound effort was booted onto the underside of the bar by Jones.
However, their incredulity didn’t last long as within a minute, Youngs was on hand to thump home after Ahenkorah had cut back the ball following another surging run down the left on 31 minutes.
If it was a boxing match, the referee would have called time at the interval but Bash came out for the second half with renewed vigour.
The home side immediately grabbed a lifeline when Manny Soetan’s inswinging corner was thumped home by skipper Jack Odam. This changed the complexion of the match and while Redditch continued to create chances, they were rattled by their hosts’ new found purpose.
Bash defender Luke Ansell skimmed the crossbar with a flicked header from Soetan’s free kick before Reds gained some much-needed respite when they reestablished their two-goal lead.
Hylton forced a fingertip save from the in-form Jones but, from the resulting corner, he was left free on the edge of the area to squeeze a shot into the bottom far corner.
But with United in cruise control, Hylton blotted is copybook six minutes later with a rash tackle on Manders who was realistically going nowhere. Matters quickly got worse when Odam’s resulting free-kick missed everyone on its way through before beating Brad Catlow at his near post.
Bashley had a brief flourish in the dying stages but 10-man Redditch looked relatively comfortable in holding out for the three points their overall performance warranted.
Reds: Catlow 6, Williams 7, Caines 6, Oshungbure 7, Flanagan 7, Jackson 6, Sterling-James 7 (Recci 84), YOUNGS 8*, Ahenkorah 8 (Young 90), Hylton 5, Molyneaux 7 (Loveridge 75). Unused subs: Bridgewater, McDonald.
Attendance: 132 Referee: Mark Lucie (Southsea)