Redditch United suffered their first defeat in the League on Saturday after a poor display at St Ives.

The Reds travelled to Cambridge in good form knowing a win could have taken them to the top of the table. St Ives had missed their previous two games due to a Covid-19 outbreak within their squad.

The battle was made tough from the outset with Redditch full back Keiren Donnelly being sent off after three minutes for violent conduct. Aron Davies committed a foul in-front of the dugouts, which met justifiable appeals from St Ives players. During the scuffle Donnelly appeared to push the St Ives forward in the face and the referee was quick to brandish a red card.

A flustered Reds side now took on a wave of attacks however it was the 10 man Redditch side that took the lead after 21 minutes through Jordan Clement. Clement slotted home from the edge of the box bringing his tally to six for the season. Clement made way for Ioan Richards as a tactical switch immediately after scoring to add a full back to a flat back four.

As it approached half time St Ives Michael Gyasi slipped chasing the ball out of play. As the referee blew it seemed most logical that a booking for simulation was about to be produced but instead referee Daniel Todd pointed to the spot that Marc Richards converted. The travelling support were angered further when minutes later Matt Dodd jinked between two defenders but a penalty appeal was turned down from what looked clear as a push in the back.

The teams went in level at half time but St Ives with an extra player dominated possession. Two goals from Nathan Hicks in the second half secured the win for St Ives. Redditch were always chasing, a late spell of pressure not enough to get back in the game.

Matt Clarke will review the squad ahead of this weekend’s home game against Nuneaton Borough. Clarke will be without the suspended Donnelly and winger Ben Swallow.

Borough haven’t started well and have only managed to pick up two points in their League campaign so far this season.

The action will get underway at 3pm at The Trico Stadium (B974RN) and fans are advised to arrive early as the Club are expecting to sell out with current restrictions only allowing 600 spectators.