By Liam Moakes 08/05 Updated: 09/05 09:25
THE TALENTED Redditch United U21s clinched some deserved silverware from a tremendous season as they earned a 2-1 victory against Loughborough Dynamo in the Midland Combination's Challenge Bowl final.
United, who finished third in the Combination's U21 West/South Division and breezed through their cup group as they scored seven without reply against Bewdley, Bustleholme and Sporting Khalsa, arrived to find their hosts in confident mood of winning the cup.
However, Redditch, keen to stick to their passing game under the leadership of manager Brian Knight, began Saturday's match in sharp fashion as Craig Nolan pulled the strings from midfield, protected by strong tackling from Callum Clarke and Leavi Oshungbure.
It was Nolan's vision that created the first goal for Redditch with a fine through ball, cleverly controlled by Joe Knight who fired into the roof of the net to leave Cherry in the Loughborough goal with no chance.
Redditch continued to show their dominance and Loughborough, unable to deal with United's passing, reverted to the long ball.
It was this tactic which gave them the equaliser when a long ball from Loughborough appeared to be going nowhere, until a slip from Matty Chambers left the Redditch defence vulnerable.
Connor Simon unselfishly squared the ball to Sam Harvey and he calmly slotted home to level the score just before half time.
Redditch came out in the second half with the same mindset as the first and continued to pass their way through the Loughborough midfield.
Speedster Adey Hylton replaced Barny Knight on the wing for Redditch, which proved to be a cup-winning substitution.
Chambers made up for his earlier slip and intercepted a long ball from Loughborough, before spotting Hylton thundering towards goal and he delivered the perfect ball for Hylton to run on to and nod past the stranded keeper Cherry.
In the final 15 minutes Loughborough continued to press for an equaliser but Redditch stood strong, with Danny Payne commanding his area under some good pressure from the desperate Loughborough.
Redditch held on to clinch their first silverware in their first season since formation in what was a much deserved victory.
Team: Payne, Hurdman, Bevas, Reeves, Chambers, Clarke, Nolan, Oshungbure, J Knight, B Knight, Sweeney.
Subs: Hylton (B Knight 55), Busby (Sweeney 65), Ellett (J Knight 68), Hill (unused).
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