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Improved Reds suffer fourth Valley defeat
Redditch United 2, Banbury United 3
Redditch manager Liam McDonald handed debuts to three new players but his revamped side could not end the miserable run of Valley Stadium results.
But while this was a fourth straight home defeat for the Reds, there were some positives to come from the game – specifically an impressive display from keeper Sam Hornby and a man of the match display from central defender Jordan Anderson.
Twice Redditch clawed their way back into the game, showing some of the character lacking in the five-goal mauling at the hands of Hungerford in midweek.
Sadly, it was some sloppy marking that cost the Reds in the end and, just to compound the disappointment, striker Harvey Headley was sent off in injury time after picking up a second yellow card for berating the referee.
Redditch had the best of the early chances when debutant Lewis Hayden – defenders Joe Ballinger and Mark Byrne were also making their first starts – sent an inch-perfect ball in behind the Banbury defence for James Molyneux only for his shot to be blocked by keeper Leigh Bedwell.
Adeyinka Talabi and Kynan Isaac went close at the other end, forcing Hornby into good saves, before Isaac broke the deadlock on 37 minutes with a powerful left-foot effort that flew into the roof of the net after cutting in off the right wing.
But the Reds rallied and a good run by Edwin Ahenkorah four minutes later ended with him being brought down and Headley fired home the resulting penalty.
A stunning Hornby save denied Isaac a second goal soon after the break while Reds skipper Mark Hands drilled an effort just wide.
But it was Banbury who regained the lead on 62 minutes when Headley shoved Tom Ryan to the floor and Scott Bridges scored from the spot.
The goal prompted the Reds’ boss to send on substitute Jermaine Hylton and within three minutes he had set-up the 72nd minute equaliser, outpacing his marker before cutting the ball back into the six-yard box for Headley to rifle home.
But the celebrations were cut short when, just a minute later, Bridges was left unmarked and his diving header gave the United keeper no chance.
The home side looked for a third equaliser but failed to test keeper Bedwell in the closing stages and Headley’s late dismissal wrapped up the disappointment.
Reds: Hornby 8, Recci 7, Ballinger 5, Oshungbure 7 (Price 75), ANDERSON 8, Byrne 6, Ahenkorah 6, Hands 7, Headley 4, Hayden 7 (Hylton 69, 6), Molyneux 6 (Ambalu 83). Subs (not used): Hinds, Kargbo.
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