Reds suffer late setback

By Liam Moakes Thursday 10 January 2013 Updated: 15/01 12:49

REDDITCH UNITED were unable to lift themselves out of the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division relegation zone as they slipped to an unfortunate late 2-1 loss at Chesham United on Tuesday.

It was a fourth successive defeat for Simon Redhead’s side but there were numerous plus points to take from a good performance level which, if repeated, will soon see the Reds picking up points.

There are two chances to do so at the Valley Stadium on the horizon as Bedford Town visit tomorrow before Bashley arrive on Tuesday.

The hosts took an 18th minute lead when a sublime pass from John Kyriacou found Bruce Wilson and he swept the ball past United keeper Brad Catlow with aplomb from inside the area.

Inspired by the probings of a rejuvenated Connor Deards alongside Mark Hands in midfield, the visitors then took the game by the scruff of the neck and grabbed a thoroughly deserved equaliser moments before half time when youngster Leavi Oshungbure capped an excellent move with a neat finish.

Chesham enjoyed a miraculous escape on the hour mark when keeper Shane Gore produced a brilliant double save to thwart both Josh Quaynor and Will Richards before Hands had the ball in the net, but the strike was chalked off for offside.

Simon Thomas spurned a simple chance to give Chesham the lead but the Buckinghamshire side did grab the decisive third goal four minutes from time when Steve Wales crashed home a volley from just outside the box.

There was still time for Thomas to miss a penalty awarded for a foul on himself by Asa Charlton, but Catlow was comfortably able to save the spot kick.

Meanwhile, the Reds have rearranged three league matches and one cup game. They will now host Gosport Borough on January 29 (7.45pm), entertain Hitchin Town on February 12 (7.45pm) and welcome Banbury United to the Valley on February 19 (7.45pm).

The Worcestershire Senior Cup semi-final against Kidderminster Harriers takes place at Aggborough on February 5 (7.30pm).

Off the field, United chairman Chris Swan has rejected claims the playing budget has been cut at the Valley following news that talented midfielder Stuart Hendrie has departed.

Hendrie revealed via Twitter that, having returned to United from Stourbridge following a successful spell at Redditch in 2010/11, he had been released by boss Redhead despite having taken a pay cut to join the club.

Hendrie thanked the Redditch supporters for their backing in some good-natured tweets, but in response Swan refuted claims the budget had been cut, but did acknowledge cashflow had been hit hard by the fact the Reds had played just one home match since mid-November.

Because of this loss of revenue boss Redhead has been told he will have to let players go in order to bring others in - with a new striker his priority - but Swan reiterated the budget itself had not been cut.

The club are holding a fund-raising event after tomorrow’s match, which will take place at 7.30pm. The ‘Screwball Scramble Quiz’ event will feature various silly challenges and entry costs £2 per person, with teams requiring a minimum of five people and maximum of ten.

There is a prize of £100 for the winning team and one person will have the chance to play a ‘Deal Or No Deal’ event for the chance to win £250.

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