Reds edged out in thriller

First published in Conference North-News

Bideford 4 Redditch United 3

A BRACE from Jermaine Hylton wasn’t enough to stop the Reds from losing this entertaining encounter.

Liam McDonald’s side fought until the final minute but slumped to their third consecutive defeat, which saw them slip into the bottom half of the Calor Southern League Premier Division.

Things had started well for the visitors when the prolific Hylton slotted home to break the deadlock midway through the first half.

The lead didn’t last long though, as Bideford veteran Kevin Squire restored parity with a fizzed shot that bounced over goalkeeper Bradley Catlow and into the net.

Redditch were aggrieved not to go in at half time with the lead after Hylton was judged to have handled as he bundled the ball over the line.

The disallowed goal gave Bideford a scare and they came out of the blocks racing after the break – netting a quick-fire double through Ethan Phillips and Craig Duff to take the game away from the shell-shocked Reds.

To their credit, United refused to lie down and nearly reduced the arrears when Omari Sterling-James rounded the goalkeeper, only to see his effort hacked off the line.

Sterling-James did get his reward with seven minutes remaining, as he converted substitute Cameron Young’s cross to set up a nail-biting finale.

But as The Reds pushed for a dramatic equaliser, Duff struck again with a towering header to quash any genuine hopes of a late fightback.

Hylton headed home his second in the dying minutes, but there wasn’t enough time left for Redditch to grab a fourth goal.

REDS: Catlow 6, Recci 6, Caines 6, Oshungbure 6 (Loveridge 48, 7), Mutton 7, Sowe 6, Sterling-James 7, Sammons 7, Ahenkorah 7 (Bridgwater 69, 6), HYLTON 8, Molyneux 7 (Young 81). Subs (not used): Youngs, McDonald.

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