Redditch United 1, Chippenham Town 0

An outstanding defensive display ensured Redditch took all three points in this Valley Stadium clash.

Gary Moran’s 13th minute strike may have been the vital goal but it was the heroics of midfielder Mark Hands and central defenders Callum Flanagan and Asa Charlton that ensured the visitors returned to Wiltshire empty-handed.

An early Dean Griffiths header provided an easy save for James Wren in the Reds goals while Chippenham keeper Ben John did well to cut out a Jack Cresswell cross.

The goal did have a touch of fortune about it. Moran gathered the ball 25 yards out and with no-one closing him down, the defender let fly with a shot that hit Town’s Ashley Williams before nestling in the back of the net.

The goal prompted an aerial bombardment from Chippenham as they looked to feed off dangerman Alan Griffin. But excellent defending ensured it was a quiet first half for Reds keeper Wren.

Indeed it was the home side who went closest to adding to the scoreline just before the interval when Cresswell sent on loan striker Jake Reid clear. His tame shot was easily blocked by the keeper and Stuart Hendrie could only put his rebound into the side-netting.

The second half saw more in the way of chances with the visitors introducing substitute and midweek signing Tom Knighton – the free-scoring striker who had guided Yate Town into the FA Cup first round.

Alex Kite put a header wide for the visitors before Knighton forced Wren into a low save on 64 minutes.

Redditch youngster Leavie Oshungbure, starting his first league game, powered a header at keeper John before Luke Ballinger had an effort blocked by a United defender.

In the end, the closest Chippenham came to an equaliser was a Ballinger corner that Wren had to push over the crossbar.

The Reds welcome Bashley next week with manager Simon Redhead looking for a third straight victory that could hoist them into the top half of the table.

Reds: Wren 6, Moran 7, Quaynor 6, Flanagan 7, Charlton 8, HANDS 9, Hendrie 6 (Jenkins 80), Richards 6, Cresswell 6 (Deards 65, 6), Reid 6, Oshungbure 7. Subs (not used): Grandison, Bridgwater, Catlow.