Redditch United 2, Cambridge City 4
Supersub Jack Cresswell inspired Redditch to a last gasp fightback at the Valley but it came too late to salvage anything for Simon Redhead’s side.
The Reds’ boss sent on the influential midfielder for the final half-hour and he capped an impressive display with the goal of the game – a fine 25-yard effort as United edged to within two goals of their promotion-chasing visitors.
Fellow replacement Jermaine Hylton also played his part, starting the fightback with Redditch’s opener nine minutes from the end, but it was stylish Cresswell who brought the best out of his teammates – particularly playmaker Stuart Hendrie.
United saw plenty of the ball in the opening hour but failed to force Zac Barrett into a save apart from a diving header from youngster Levi Oshungbure that flew straight at him.
In contrast, Cambridge made the most of their limited chances, scoring twice in each half to bolster their place in the play-offs.
An early scramble in the visitors goalmouth saw the ball hit the City upright but the lack of creativity from the home side ensured it was a quiet afternoon for Barrett.
Hendrie fizzed one effort wide of the target and then drilled another against the post at the start of the second half.
By then, Cambridge were two goals to the good. Striker Adam Marriot headed home the 20th minute opener with Robbie Nightingale doubling the lead six minutes later as the Reds defence failed to clear the ball.
Home keeper Brad Catlow did well to push another Marriot effort over the bar before City struck twice in six second half minutes to sew things up.
Ash Fuller rifled in a 20-yard volley just shy of the hour with Marriot tucking away his second of the game after pouncing on a weak header from skipper Alex Hickman.
Late goals from Redhead’s supersubs, Cresswell’s stunner coming a minute from time, threatened to lift the gloom but the visitors never looked like letting their four-goal lead slip.
Reds: Catlow 6, Moran 6 (Jenkins 79), Quaynor 6, Flanagan 7, Hickman 6, Richards 7, HENDRIE 7, Hands 5, Reid 6, Husbands 5 (Hylton 73), Oshungbure 6 (Cresswell 62, 7). Subs (not used): Bridgwater, Deards