Reds leave it late to snatch win

Redditch United 2, AFC Totton 1

Defender Joe Ballinger may have been Redditch’s unlikely match winner but the points should have been safely in the bag by the break.

The Reds dominated the first half and, had it not been for a stunning display by visiting keeper Joe McCormack, Totton could have been at least four goals adrift.

It had looked like being a far from memorable day for the shotstopper when a brilliant save from Omari Sterling-James on 15 minutes resulted in Harvey Headley turning home the loose ball for the opener.

But from then on he continually thwarted Liam McDonald’s side and Headley in particular.

On 37 minutes, Jamie Molyneux skipped into the area and picked out the unmarked Headley but his shot was brilliantly turned away by the keeper.

Three minutes later, Headley latched on to a Ballinger header but once again McCormack was up to the task, blocking the striker’s effort with his feet.

First half injury time saw another fine save to deny the Redditch frontman who had muscled through a rather paperweight Totton defence.

Sterling-James forced another decent save from McCormack on the hour before the visitors slowly began to claw their way back into the game.

James Jenniss had a shot deflected just the wrong side of the post with defender Rob Flooks crashing a header against the crossbar.

And Totton’s pressure finally paid off 14 minutes from the end when substitute Taylor Edwards skipped through a couple of half-hearted challenges before stroking the ball beyond Sam Hornby in the United goal.

The goal looked like it could end the south coast side’s seven-match losing run in the league – but it also spurred the Reds into looking for a winner.

The final five minutes was one-way traffic with Molyneux firing wide and then putting a low cross just behind Headley. Sam Youngs was then unlucky with a shot that was deflected inches wide.

But just when it looked as though Totton had held on for a draw, an Ashley Sammons free-kick picked out the unmarked Ballinger to sent a powerful header beyond McCormack’s reach.

Reds: Hornby 6, Recci 6 (Oshungbure 74), Ballinger 6, Sammons 7 (Bridgewater 90), Slade 7, Jackson 7, Sterling-James 6, Youngs 7, HEADLEY 8, Hylton 5, Molyneux 7 (Weatherby 90). Subs (not used): Caines, Catlow

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