Evostik Southern League Premier Division
Phillips 66 Community Stadium
Tuesday 13th September 2016
Brakes recovered from a second minute goal and a disappointing opening 45 minutes to bring the Phillips 66 Community Stadium to life with two of their own in the last half an hour.
Under the new management of former Aston Villa striker Darren Byfield Redditch were unrecognisable, from the side who faced Leamington in the dramatic play off semi final at The Valley Stadium back in April with only two players in their squad being involved that night.
Coming off the back of a disappointing end to the Weymouth match on Saturday in which the visitors had snatched an undeserved point with a last minute penalty, conceding so early on was the last thing that was needed, but Redditch went in front with a well taken strike from Danico Johnson, who deftly headed Liam Spink’s right wing centre down and under the body of the diving Tony Breeden, the ball squeezing in at the near post.
At no point were the visitors ever in real control of proceedings but Leamington struggled to get into any kind of rhythm to really trouble them, and as a result clear cut chances were scarce. Jack Edwards directed a powerful header straight at keeper Bradley Catlow from Rob Thompson-Brown’s right wing cross and the midfielder, signed from Redditch during the summer, curled a free kick just over the bar from a left wing position.
Edwards then knocked on a ball into the Redditch penalty area, Ryan Rowe inches from connecting with it, but Redditch could have doubled their advantage when Darren Pond uncharacteristically lost possession just inside the Leamington half, Eli Bako robbing him and playing in Johnson, who shot was well saved By Breeden, who parried and just got to the rebound in time.
Thompson-Brown saw a well struck free kick fly into the arms of Catlow, but it wasn’t until the second half that Brakes really began to click into gear, thanks largely to the introduction of Connor Gudger and Richard Taundry. It was the latter whose piledriver from distance was spooned behind by Catlow for a corner from which the leveller arrived. Darren Pond’s downward header was well saved but the ball looped into the air, and Rowe bundled it over the line.
Another crashing drive from Taundry whistled just past the post, while Edwards’ deflected shot just inside the box saw James Mace connect with an acrobatic overhead effort that was snatched by Catlow just ahead of the advancing Jamie Hood.
The vocalists among the home support finally woke up and atmosphere began to crackle as they willed their team on in search of a winner. Gudger came close as he followed up a blocked effort with a low angled shot that was deflected just past the far post. From the resulting corner Pond and Hood closed in as the ball was played into the six yard box, but the final touch appeared to come from Redditch right back Jordan Jones.
The visitors saw a late shot parried by Breeden but Leamington saw out time for deserved comeback win.
Leamington: Tony Breeden ©, Ben George, Tom James (16 Connor Gudger, 46), Darren Pond, Jamie Hood, James Mace, Zak Lilly (15 Richard Taundry, 61), Jack Edwards, Ryan Rowe (14 Courtney Baker-Richardson, 74), Rob Thompson-Brown, Ahmed Obeng.
Subs not used: 12 Joe Magunda, 17 Lee Moore.
Redditch United: Bradley Catlow, Jordan Jones, Nat Kelly, Eli Bako, Clayton McDonald, Duane Courtney ©, Liam Spink, Pauly Apostolopoulos, Danico Johnson (12 Michael Taylor, 84), Darren Byfield (15 Javia Roberts, 52), Reece Hales (16 David McDermott, 68).
Subs not used: 14 Jazz Luckie, 17 Cameron Young.
Referee: Mr Richard Gould
Assistant Referees: Mr Jamie Conde & Mr Jamie Howe
Brakes Man of the Match: Ahmed Obeng.