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Rain denies Reds in Trophy
Redditch United 2, Chasetown 1 (match abandoned after 82 minutes)
TEENAGER wonder Omari Sterling-James struck a goal in each half to steer the Reds towards a place in the next round of the FA Trophy.
But his heroics proved to be in vain with torrential rain forcing the match to be abandoned with just eight minutes remaining. The sides will try again at the Valley Stadium on Wednesday.
After a nightmare opening few minutes that saw the visitors open the scoring and go close to a second, the home side dominated and would have been clear at the break had it not been for Ryan Price in the Scholars goal who made a string of fine stops.
Grant Beckett gave the visitors a 15th second lead, firing home from the edge of the area, before Danny Griffiths was denied in front of goal by a timely Jermaine Clarke challenge – the striker slotting in at the heart of the defence in absence of the suspended Jim Mutton.
But from then on it was the Reds in control as Chasetown struggled to deal with the all-action midfielders – Sterling-James and Ashley Sammons particularly impressive.
The former was denied low down by Price on ten minutes with the Scholars keeper then tipping a point blank Clarke header over the crossbar.
Sterling-James then drilled another effort at the keeper before he scored the equaliser three minutes before the break, sending a delightful chip over Price from outside the area.
Sammons could have added a second in injury time but was also denied by the impressive Chase keeper who turned away his powerful 25-yard drive.
With Nathan Jackson and Clarke forming a formidable wall in front of Reds keeper Sam Hornby, the visitors struggled to create much, a solitary Nick Wellecomme effort forcing a save late in the first half.
The rain came soon after the restart but it failed to stop United from taking the lead on 58 minutes. Edwin Ahenkorah’s shot was parried by Price and Sterling-James reacted the quickest to take the ball beyond the keeper and roll into the empty net.
The heavy rain meant fewer chances as the ball began to get held up in the water. Puddles in the centre circle soon spread and after a couple of crunching tackles – including one on Sterling-James that saw him hobble off –referee John Law brought the proceedings to a halt.
Reds: Hornby 5, Recci 6, Flanagan 7, Oshungbure 6, Jackson 7 (Hylton 73), Price 5 (Headley 62, 6), STERLING-JAMES 8 (Ballinger 76), Sammons 7, Clarke 6, Ahenkorah 6, Molyneux 6 Subs (not used): Ballinger, Catlow.
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