St Albans City 2, Redditch United 1
A LATE strike from home substitute Elliot Bailey ensured the Reds returned from St Albans empty-handed.
But it needed the woodwork to deny them an equaliser, Jermaine Hylton having a last minute effort that clipped the outside of the post.
It was the home side who took an early lead when a long throw-in from Lee Chappell on 13 minutes eluded the United defence and John Frendo was left unmarked to head past keeper Bradley Catlow.
But the Reds hit back ten minutes later when Edwin Ahenkorah headed into the path of Omari Sterling-James who produced a neat finish to beat veteran Paul Bastock.
With skipper Leavi Oshungbure orchestrating things in midfield, the visitors had plenty of the ball but had to wait until ten minutes into the second period before forcing Bastock into a save, the former Redditch schoolboy doing well to cut out Ahenkorah’s cross with Sterling-James poised to strike.
Catlow did well to deny substitute Chris Henry at the other end before the home side regained the lead 15 minutes from time. And it was from another Chappell throw-in which this time picked out Bailey who netted with a first-time volley.
Hylton’s late effort would have secured a deserved point for Liam McDonald’s men but it wasn’t to be.
Reds: Catlow 7, Williams 6, Caines 7 (Mutton 86), OSHUNGBURE 8, Flanagan 8, Jackson 6, Sterling-James 7, Youngs 6, Ahenkorah 7 (Loveridge 83), Hylton 7, Molyneux 5 (Headley 58, 5). Subs (not used): Recci, Hornby