Football
Reds claim precious victory

By Liam Moakes Thursday 11 October 2012 Updated: 18/10 12:30

THERE was relief all round for Redditch United as a superb performance enabled them to clinch a 2-1 victory at high-flying St Neots Town on Tuesday.

The maximum points haul was just a second Southern League Premier Division victory of the season for Simon Redhead's team and was vital after the disappointment of Saturday's 4-1 loss at home to a Hemel Hempstead Town outfit who are level on points at the top of the table.

The task now for Redhead's troops will be to try and find some consistency to their form, starting with tomorrow's encounter against AFC Totton at the Valley Stadium.

The Reds were certainly facing a tough test in Cambridgeshire as they faced a home team whose forward line consisted of former Aston Villa striker Stefan Moore and talented ex-Leamington striker Ben Mackey, but they rose to the challenge to record a win which lifts them into 14th place.

Redhead has been delighted by the return to the club of Stuart Hendrie from Stourbridge and his influence, along with the return to the side of defender Gary Moran, certainly made a difference on Tuesday.

Redditch were the better team in the first half but their efforts went unrewarded despite Jack Cresswell and Will Richards going close.

They did take the lead in the 46th minute when half time substitute Joel Grandison made an immediate impact by collecting a pass before coolly rounding the keeper to slot home.

The lead was doubled in the 55th minute when Cresswell found Connor Deards who converted at the near post to net his third goal in four league matches.

However, the hosts were right back in it just 90 seconds later when Mackey netted from the penalty spot following a foul by Asa Charlton.

The visiting fans were probably fearing the worst given the Reds' record of surrendering points from winning positions in recent seasons, but they need not have worried as the visiting rearguard and goalkeeper James Wren stood firm.

Saturday's scoreline was harsh on United, who matched Hemel Hempstead in the first half before being undone by two goals shortly after the restart.

Matt Nolan's stunning long range strike gave the visitors an early lead and they doubled their advantage when Dave Pearce punished some slack defending.

However, Deards gave the hosts hope eight minutes before the break with a fine finish and Hendrie twice went close as Redditch threatened a fightback.

There was no way back though as Nolan produced another sublime long range strike and Pearce also got a second goal soon afterwards to end the match as a contest.

The Reds are also in action on Tuesday when they host current league leaders Stourbridge in the first round of the Red Insure League Cup.

UNITED U21s won 3-1 in the Saturday Junior Cup (County Cup) against Dudley Villa thanks to goals from Ash Granville, Rico and Yanic but the Reserves were beaten 3-0 at home by Gresley in Midland Combination Reserve Division One on Tuesday.

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