Redditch United 1, Gosport Boro 0
SOLID defending, a wonderful solo display in midfield and a convincing victory over a Conference South side – it’s easy to get carried away when watching Redditch United at the moment.
And while this is pre-season, a time when results are supposedly not as important as performances, there are plenty of encouraging signs for manager Liam McDonald.
Twelve months ago, Gosport smashed five past a ragged Redditch defence. They then went on an FA Trophy run that only ended in defeat at the hands of Cambridge United in the Wembley final.
A year later and the Reds not only turned the tables on their Hampshire visitors, they dominated large chunks of the game.
And even when Gosport did threaten to grab an undeserved equaliser, United keeper Sam Hornby blocked their way as he put in one of his most assured displays in a Redditch shirt.
But with his backfour once again solid it was a frustrating afternoon for the visitors who never really managed to find a way through, the excellent Max Loveridge also staking his claim in the heart of the United midfield.
Boro’s Nathan Ashmore was the busier keeper in the first half, keeping out efforts from Edwin Ahenkorah and Jamie Molyneux. Hornby was also called into action to keep out a Dan Wooden shot.
It then became one-way traffic in the second period with Ashmore again called upon to keep out shots from Ahenkorah and tricky trialist Elias Katsoloudi.
The young Greek substitute had a hand in the only goal of the game on 67 minutes, easing into the area before having his shot pushed away by Ashmore.
Molyneux pounced on the loose ball and although his initial effort was blocked on the line, he thundered home the rebound.
Gosport almost snatched a last minute equaliser but Hornby was up to the task, saving well from Matt Pattison.
Redditch are next in action on Saturday, August 2, when Solihull Moors are the visitors to the Valley Stadium.
Reds: Hornby, Jones, Flanagan, Loveridge, Mutton, Scarr, Carlisle, Spink, Reid, Ahenkorah, Molyneux. Subs: Agathangelou, Katsoloudi, Caines, Fishwick