Redditch United 2, Burnham 1

AN outstanding defensive display from Calum Flanagan and James Mutton helped steer the Reds to a hard-fought victory over their mid-table rivals.

And with skipper Leavi Oshungbure producing another fine display just in front of his backfour, goals against Liam McDonald’s side are proving something of a rarity.

This win, thanks to a Harvey Headley strike and an own goal, made it five games unbeaten during which time they have shipped just two goals. Those days of five-goal maulings at the start of the campaign seem a long, long time again.

For all their early endeavour, this was a stuttering Redditch display with clear chances proving hard to come by.

Headley had an effort cleared off the line inside nine minutes while Mutton directed a close-range volley straight at Burnham keeper Adam Lawrence ten minutes later.

A couple of Ashley Sammons late in the half deserved to be finished off but a clutch of players failed to connect.

At the other end, Ryan Blake was proving Burnham’s main threat but he pushed one effort to the right of the target before dragging another to the left of the goal after rounding keeper Sam Hornby.

It was Blake who finally broke the deadlock three minutes into the second half but his shot may well have been drifting side had it not taken a huge deflection of a Redditch defender to leave Hornby wrong-footed.

But it was all square five minutes later when a long punt forward by the keeper prompted Headley to muscle his way between two defender and stab the ball beyond the Burnham keeper from six yards.

Redditch’s winner came on 58 minutes and from another telling Sammons delivery. With his strikers poised in the six-yard box, Burnham’s Lewis Lavender tried to cut out the cross but his header looped into the roof of his own net. There was plenty of effort from the visitors in the final half-hour but they could not find a way through the solid United defence.

As for the Reds, Jamie Molyneux put an effort into the keeper’s arms while Sam Youngs turned an effort wide from a low Edwin Ahenkorah free-kick.

Reds: Hornby 6, Williams 6, Caines 7, Oshungbure 8, Mutton 8, FLANAGAN 8, Ahenkorah 6 (Loveridge 83), Sammons 6 (Young 90), Headley 7 (Sterling-James 71), Youngs 6, Molyneux 7. Subs (not used): Bridgwater, Catlow.