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Ice cool McDonald seals Reds win
1:29pm Monday 4th March 2013 in Sport
Redditch United 2 Frome Town 1
SIMON Redhead was the first to admit Redditch United had played better this season and lost. But it’s points, rather than plaudits, that matter in the Reds’ relegation battle.
Skipper Liam McDonald’s injury-time penalty winner snatched a victory to leapfrog fellow strugglers Frome and extend Redditch’s unbeaten run to four games.
It was a finale as unexpected as the mid-match change in fortunes after Redhead’s men had dominated the first half, only to lose their way in the second period like a Victorian explorer with a dodgy compass in the Amazon forest.
After Frome substitute Ricky Hulbert had cancelled out Will Richards’ 34th-minute opener 13 minutes after half-time, the Somerset side had the Reds on the backfoot.
That Redditch still took the points – and moved three points clear of the drop zone – was testament to their resilience. And that’s going to be vital to stay in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier.
“It was a strange game,” said Redhead. “I think a draw would have been a fair result.
“I don’t think we did enough to deserve to win the game. We have played better and lost but earlier in the season we would have subsided when they equalised and ended up getting beat.
“At this stage of the season, it’s all about the points. It’s not about well you play.”
Redditch, though, had been the more purposeful side in the first half.
After Leavi Oshungbure’s shot drifted wide and Jermaine Hylton had an effort blocked, the Reds deserved to go ahead on 34 minutes.
Josh Quaynor curled a free-kick from the right and Richards flicked his header into the net for his eighth goal of the season.
A similar move almost brought a second but Richards’ header was just wide but Frome seized the initiative after the break.
Only Reds full-back Gary Moran’s acrobatic clearance hoofed Luke Ballinger’s shot off the line but it was 1-1 on 58 minutes when Hulbert nodded in a scruffy goal from a corner.
Having survived the visitors’ pressure, the reds rallied late on as sub Connor Deards had an effort deflected over before they grabbed the winner one minute into stoppage time.
Deards rammed a shot into the net after Matt West’s cross caused panic but referee Mark Billingham had signalled a penalty as Richards was pulled back by Dean Flockton in the build-up.
There was to be no reprieve for Frome, though, as McDonald smashed home the spot-kick.
REDDITCH: Catlow 6; Moran 6, Flanagan 6, Charlton 8, Quaynor 6; Oshungbure 6, Bennett 7, McDonald 5, Washbourne 5 (Deards, 75 mins); Richards 7, Hylton 6 (West, 66). Subs not used: Hands, Costello.
FROME: Chitty; Thompson, Ford, Flockton, Cooper; Clark, Smith; Ballinger, Jefferies (Hulbert, 54), Copp; Evans. Subs not used: Powell, Matthews, Hobbs, Chamberlain.
Referee: Mark Billingham.