DEPLETED Redditch United fought valiantly but were only able to emerge with one point from their Southern League Premier Division matches against Weymouth and Paulton Rovers.
Liam McDonald’s side have now gone six league matches without a victory, but there was no disgrace in their efforts as the Reds earned a 1-1 draw at home to the promotion-chasing Terras on Saturday before slipping to a 1-0 defeat in Somerset three days later.
Despite featuring just one goal, the midweek game at Paulton was a thrilling affair only marred by the referee handing out yellow cards like confetti, to the amazement of both sets of supporters and players.
The six shown to Redditch is likely to result in a fine by the FA, whilst five were shown to the hosts in a match which was never dirty.
Redditch made a bright start and forward Jamie Spencer – set for a run in the team in the absence of Jermaine Hylton and Jamie Molyneux – saw his shot well saved by Kyle Phillips before the Rovers keeper superbly denied Rikardo Reid, who saw another chance go begging as poor control let him down.
Dean Evans and Jon Davies then went close for the hosts before Spencer headed wide from Dan Scarr’s cross at the other end.
Redditch were unlucky not to take the lead early in the second half when Reid broke through on goal but Phillips did superbly to narrow the angle and prevent what had seemed a certain goal and moments later the stopper brilliantly tipped over a close range shot from Spencer.
Just before the hour mark Paulton saw strong claims for a penalty waved away when Scott Wilson got behind the United defence, only to be pulled back by Scarr. The hosts were screaming for a penalty but the referee awarded a free kick just outside the area and Scarr escaped with a yellow card to his name.
However, Paulton did grab the decisive goal seven minutes from time when Brandon Barnes’ free kick was met by a bullet header from Evans and the ball arrowed past United keeper Brad Catlow.
On Saturday Redditch, who have been without key midfielders Max Loveridge and Ashley Sammons through suspension in these games, showed plenty of heart to earn a share of the spoils against Weymouth.
The visitors took a 35th minute lead through Stewart Yetton’s header but the hosts – who partnered Reid with youngster Liam Fullerton up front – struck five minutes from time when Simeon Maye’s surge into the area was illegally halted by Chris McPhee and Spencer’s superbly struck penalty levelled the score.
United head to Slough Town for a league encounter on Saturday before beginning their Red Insure League Cup campaign at home to lower ranked Bishops Cleeve in the first round on Monday.
ALVECHURCH exited the Birmingham Senior Cup at the first round stage as Causeway United emerged 3-1 winners after extra time at Lye Meadow on Tuesday.
The match finished goalless after 90 minutes before the visitors took command in the extra period to emerge victorious, with the hosts’ only reward being a 120th minute consolation goal from Dale Edwards, who was on hand to convert the rebound after Luke Shearer had seen his penalty saved.
Alvechurch return to Midland Football League Premier Division action on Saturday when they host Continental Star, before a Tuesday night visit to Bewdley Town for a Worcestershire Senior Urn encounter.