Local Derby ends all Square
Undefeated Town held to goalless draw in closely fought local derby at the MoodChimp Stadium
Match report by Kevin Hand, stats by Rod Abrahams, photographs by Granty
On a glorious late summer afternoon Town put on a performance in front of a crowd of 312 fitting of the day. No goals but no lack of quality with Stratford unlucky not to take all 3 points.
Redditch riding high after 3 wins out of 4 games and a 4-0 victory at home to Dorchester on Saturday was looking to continue this good start. With Justin Marsden in the Town starting 11 and Recci rested it was the home side kicking towards the Knight’s Lane End who had the better of the opening exchanges.
But it was the Reds who threatened in the 9th and 11th with the outstanding Lee Thomas and Andy Gallinagh called on to clear Town’s lines. Town was desperately close to taking the lead when Fry’s pass inside the full back was taken in Ahenkorah’s stride and his cross was nearly turned in by lucky from no more than 5 yards. As town took control Luckie took too many touches in the box and then found the side netting from another Thomas break.
As the half came to its end Thomas appeared to be fouled in the box but the decision went against the wing back. Redditch replied with a break by ex Town player, Dior Angus, who was brought down by James Fry earning himself a booking.
The second half saw Town take charge against a lethargic Redditch 11 and it was no surprise when the visitors made early substitutions. Taylor and Hancocks replaced Marsden and Luckie and despite having the better of the exhanges clear cut chances were few and far between. Fry was denied from close range and Francis booked when he collided with Ethan Ross, United’s goalkeeper in the ensuing scramble.
Mikey Taylor went down in the box but again the referee saw it differently. It is fair to say the home crowd felt the officiating had not helped them on this afternoon. The last minutes saw both sides nearly grab 3 points. First Danico Johnson found himself free in the inside right position for the Reds and he saw his fierce drive clatter of Town’s bar and back to safety. At the other end Grocutt smashed a drive from near the penalty spot towards the top corner only to see it blocked.
This was a great team performances with outstanding contributions all over the over the pitch. Captain, James Fry, won Marston man of the match but in truth there were at least half a dozen other worthy candidates including crowd favourite Lee Thomas and Dan Summerfield playing out of position at centre half.
Next up the FA Cup First Qualifying round at home Saturday 02 September when the visitors will be Newcastle Town.