REDDITCH United conceded three first-half goals as they were beaten 3-1 by AFC Rushden and Diamonds on Non-League Day.
The Reds were punished for a sloppy first-half performance that saw Alex Collard net twice with Jesse Akubuine also on target for the visitors whilst Ryan Edmunds struck a late consolation for the home side in front of 546 fans at the Trico Stadium.
And the result means Redditch sit 13th in the Southern League Premier Central table, eight points clear of the relegation zone.
Rushden took the lead after eight minutes when Akubuine brilliantly finished into the roof of the net from just inside the penalty area after he chested down a cross from the left.
Redditch responded with a chance through debutant Victor Sodeinde who looped an acrobatic effort over the bar before Shane Bush hit a volley narrowly wide at the other end.
And the Diamonds doubled their lead on 25 minutes when Collard headed in at the back post after easily beating his marker to the ball.
The home side came close to reducing the deficit in first-half stoppage time when Sodeinde kept the ball in play before driving down the line and teeing up Aram Soleman only for the midfielder’s low effort to be blocked on the line by Collard.
And Collard then went up the other end to score the away side’s third goal with another back-post header to all but seal the points for Rushden.
Matt Clarke’s side faced a mountain to climb in the second half and went close again when Ryan Edmunds’ outside of the boot effort was well-saved by Dean Snedker despite the referee pointing for a goal kick.
And Edmunds grabbed a consolation goal for Redditch on 78 minutes when he struck a set-piece low and hard which evaded a crowd of bodies in the penalty area before nestling in the left corner of the goal.
The Reds pushed for a second soon after when Kieron Dawes’ drive from distance was superbly tipped onto the post by Snedker as Redditch slipped to a second defeat in as many matches.
Redditch are next in action against local rivals Bromsgrove Sporting on Saturday, April 2 with kick-off at 3pm at the Victoria Ground.