No Reds recovery from this reverse

Southern League Premier Division:

Stourbridge 5, Redditch United 1

REDS recent run of good form was blown out of the water following this Boxing day local derby reverse against a Stourbridge side who have promotion in their sights - writes Nick Pullen

That was after Reds began as the better side and were desperately unlucky to be 2-1 down at half time.

Reds applied all the early pressure and had a goal ruled out after just five minutes when Sam Youngs headed home Omari Sterling-James's corner, but the linesman ruled the ball had gone out of play.

From the outset, Reds had looked dangerous when playing the ball wide to either flank where both Sterling-James and Jermaine Hylton showed they had the pace to get behind the Stourbridge defence.

One such move almost produced a goal on 12 minutes, Sterling-James working his way to the right bye-line and crossing for Youngs whose goalbound shot was spectacularly blocked by Kyle Haynes.

It was against the run of play that Stourbridge snatched the lead, Haynes beginning a move down the right which enabled former Reds striker Luke Benbow to rifled home against his former club.

Ten minutes later, Reds were back on level terms when Youngs fired a shot which Stourbridge goalkeeper Dean Coleman couldn't hold and the speedy Sterling-James  was first to react, firing home from an acute angle.

Stourbridge got stronger as the half progressed, before reclaiming the lead with a soft goal after Reds shotstopper Bradley Catlow flapped at a Sean Geddes corner and missed the ball, allowing central defender Nathan Bennett to slot home.

It could have been worse for Reds when Benbow produced a sublime shot which struck the post and came back out again for Sean Geddes, whose goalbound effort was turned arounbd the post by Catlow.

Stourbridge were stronger side after half time and persistently penned Reds back inside their own territory.

But it took until the 77th minute for Stourbridge to secure a vital goal when substitute Drew Canavan started,- and then finished a move from 25 yards out.

Just 60 seconds later, Stourbridge made it 4-1, when Geddes produced a great surging runs before setting up another of their substitute Jordan Fitzpatrick to fire home on a plate.

Stourbridge rubbed it in with a fifth goal on 88 minutes, Ben Billingham's corner being flicked on by another ex Red Will Richards for Ryan Rowe to turn over the line at the far post.

The result was rough on Reds who never used their pace enough when it mattered.

Stourbridge: Coleman; Haynes, Richards, Francis, Geddes, Bennett, Rowe, Broadhurst (Canavan 57), Brown (Fitzpatrick 76), Billingham, Benbow (Knight 81). Subs not used: Preston, Rock

Reds: Catlow; Williams, Flanagan, Oshungbure, Mutton, Slade, Sterling-James (Jackson 85), Sammons (Bridgwater 76), Powell (Ahenkorah 57), Youngs, Hylton. Subs not used: Ballinger, Hornby.

Referee: Ben Cooke (Atherstone)

Attendance 637

Star man: Kyle Haynes (Stourbridge ).

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