Redditch United 1, Chesham United 2
TOOTHLESS Reds again paid the price for their lack of a proven goalscorer as their title-chasing visitors came from behind to claim the points.
Leading scorer Harvey Headley had missed the last few games due to work commitments and the lack of an obvious replacement has seen Redditch struggle in front of goal.
No-one outside the bottom four has scored fewer league goals than the Reds this season and their total of 52 shows where the squad needs strengthening over the summer.
Headley’s tally for the current campaign is 13. In contrast, Chesham have three players on 20 or more goals including the league’s leading scorer – 34-goal striker Drew Roberts.
And it was Roberts who rescued his side at the Valley – goals either side of the interval ensuring it was the Buckinghamshire side who secured the points.
Redditch created enough chances to earn something from the game but either failed to hit the target or found a combination of Chesham keeper Shane Gore and former Blues defender Darren Purse blocking their path.
It was Purse who diverted an early Jermaine Hylton effort behind for a corner early on and the 37-year-old veteran then blocked an effort from Omari Sterling-James.
Reds keeper Brad Catlow did well to keep out a low Roberts free-kick before the home side opened the scoring five minutes before the break following a neat passing move between Ashley Sammons and Sterling-James with the former steering his shot just inside the left-hand post.
Liam McDonald’s side were well worth their lead but it wasn’t to last. When James Potton made his way into the box he was tripped by Joel Caines and Roberts duly converted the spot kick with virtually the last kick of the half.
Chesham started the second half strongly and Roberts scored what was to be the winner four minutes after the break when he lifted his shot over Catlow after being sent clear of the defence by an inch-perfect Chris Dillon pass.
Dave Fotheringham and Dillon had chances to extend Chesham’s lead before the Reds rallied late on With ten minutes to go Hylton curled a wonderful effort narrowly wide of the target before substitute Jamie Molyneux ghosted in behind the visitors’ defence only to be denied by Gore.
A trip to Bideford awaits Redditch on Saturday as they look for a return to winning ways after back-to-back defeats.
Reds: Catlow 7, Recci 7, Caines 7, Oshungbure 6 (Young 73), Mutton 7, Flanagan 7, Loveridge 6 (Molyneux 70, 6), SAMMONS 8, Hylton 7, Sterling-James 6, Bridgwater 6 (Ahenkorah 58, 6). Subs (not used): McDonald, Hornby.