Redditch United 2, Cheltenham Town 2
Redditch rounded off their pre-season with a dazzling display against a youthful Cheltenham Town side.
An Ashley Sammons penalty and a Jermaine Hylton effort early in the second half had given the Reds a two-goal lead but the League Two visitors drew level thanks to strikes from Harry Williams and Adam Powell.
Hylton could have hit a late winner but pushed a second penalty the wrong side of the post.
United manager Liam McDonald included former Reading youngster Shepherd Murombedzi in his starting line-up and the 19-year-old stole the show with a dominant midfield display giving the Valley boss a potential selection headache ahead of Saturday's Southern League opener with Cambridge City.
He was denied in front of goal by a last ditch tackle from James Bowen early on but was then brought down by Redditch old boy Omari Sterling-James on 36 minutes allowing Sammons to break the deadlock from the spot.
Hylton’s goal came just two minutes into the second half, the pacy winger pouncing on Jack Deaman’s weak back pass before rounding keeper Harry Reynolds and rolling the ball into the empty net.
He should have scored again soon after when he was sent free by Omar Recci’s through ball but the final shot was well wide.
Cheltenham reduced the arrears midway through the half when Williams pounced on a half-cleared corner and let fly with a 20-yard shot that was deflected beyond Brad Catlow in the Redditch goal.
Sammons drilled another effort at Reynolds and the visiting keeper then did well to keep out a Joel Caines effort that looked destined for the bottom corner.
But after failing to make the most of their chances, United were undone by a long-range effort from former Valley Stadium loanee Powell who won the ball in midfield before placing his shot over Catlow from 25-yards.
In a scintillating finale, chances went begging at both ends. Powell crashed a header against the Redditch crossbar while Hylton missed from the spot following a foul on Edwin Ahenkorah and Ricardo Reid fired over with just the keeper to beat.
Reds: Catlow, Recci (Jones 72), Caines, Oshungbure (Reid 72), Mutton, Scarr, Sammons, Loveridge (Carlisle 59), Ahenkorah, Hylton, Murombedzi.