Redditch United 2, Chippenham Town 1
Jamie Molyneux struck a second half double to hand the Reds a deserved victory over a physical Chippenham side.
Working in tandem with strike partner Jermaine Hylton, the former Stratford Town favourite tormented the visitors who did well to keep him at bay for as long as they did.
Solid defending from Chippenham ensured they reached the interval on level terms, United’s best chance coming inside the opening minute when a George Carline header was brilliantly pushed over the bay by keeper Kent Kauppinen.
The visitors also went close early on when, on six minutes, a mistake by defender Dan Scarr allowed Luke Ballinger in but his first effort was clawed away by Reds keeper Sam Hornby before his rebound was cleared off the line by Scarr.
There was little to cheer in the remainder of the half but it took another brave stop from the impressive Kauppinen three minutes into the second period to deny Molyneux following some good work from Hylton and Ashley Sammons.
The breakthrough came on 52 minutes and it was the same trio involved. Sammons picked out Hylton who threaded the ball between Chippenham’s flat-footed central defenders and Molyneux did the rest with a neat first time finish from 12 yards.
Seven minutes later he doubled his tally, punishing some sloppy defending as he picked up a loose ball inside the area before again producing a cool finish.
The Reds continued to press with Hylton having an effort cleared off the line by Shane Blakemore before substitute Liam Spink was denied by Kauppinen who then recovered to block Rikardo Reid’s rebound.
That should have been it as the visitors had offered little in front of goal. But with three minutes to go, Reds keeper Hornby collided with his own defender and when the ball broke loose, Blakemore steered it into the empty net.
Buoyed by the goal, Chippenham almost snatched an equaliser in injury time when skipper Greg Tindle got on the end of a corner only to direct his header straight at Hornby.
Reds: Hornby 6, Jones 7, Flanagan 6, Oshungbure 6 (Spink 67, 7), Scarr 7, Mutton 6, Loveridge 7, Carline 7, HYLTON 8, Sammons 6 (Ahenkorah 77), Molyneux 8 (Reid 71). Subs (not used): Caines, Catlow