Cup fever hit The Reds throughout this past week as they prepared for their trip to Herefordshire to face Hereford Pegasus Ladies in The Vitality FA Cup first round qualifiers. The mood in the camp was a positive one despite The Reds 3-1 loss to Alvechurch Women last Sunday.
The Peggy’s were an unknown quantity going into the game and both sides knew that a win would see them rewarded with a trip to face West Midlands Regional League Premier Division side Lye Town Ladies in the second-round qualifiers.
It took The Reds just three minutes to open the scoring after Robyn Hall cut the ball out and played in Lucy Driver who tucked the ball past the keeper for her first goal for the club.
Pegasus struggled to create chances within the first ten minutes of the game but did create a half chance, but the ball went wide of the post. In the tenth minute The Reds had a glorious chance to double their lead after Robyn Hall expertly played in Olivia Burke into space, but The Pegasus keeper unfortunately read the shot and made the save.
Shortly after Pegasus started to put some pressure on The Reds goal with Annie Davies making a fine save from a direct free kick to deny Hereford an equaliser and then from the resulting corner there was a scramble in the box which fell to a Hereford player, but the shot went over the bar.
Twenty minutes in the hosts equalised after Pegasus were given a dubious free kick by the referee which was saved by Annie Davies but could only parry the ball into the path of a Hereford player who put the ball into the net.
Seven minutes later The Reds regained their lead after Olivia Burke put in a great ball into the box to captain Casey Ryder who put the ball past the keeper.
Just after the half hour mark The Reds had a great chance to extend their lead after Robyn Hall played in Chloe Bailey with an excellent through ball. Chloe Bailey used her blistering pace to get to ball and round the helpless Pegasus keeper, but her touch was too heavy and by the time she repositioned herself the Hereford defender was there on the line to put the ball behind for a corner.
Two minutes later the hosts were back level after a mistake from The Reds was punished. A minute later the hosts could’ve led for the first time in the game, but Red’s keeper Annie Davies pull off a great save after Pegasus had a shot from distance which turned out to be the last big chance of the first half.
Into the second half and The Reds were pushing to retake the lead after Robyn Hall played in Chloe Bailey again who ran down the right wing and played a great ball across the box, but incoming Lucy Driver couldn’t connect with the ball.
Redditch would pay for their missed opportunities after the hosts took the lead in the 53rd minute to make it 3-2. Pegasus had a chance five minutes later Annie Davies got down well to push ball behind for a corner.
Ten minutes later Shannon Waine expertly put her body on the line (quite literally) after keeper Annie Davies was rounded and Shannon Waine threw her body on the line to prevent the ball going in the net.
In the 75th minute the hosts got their fourth of the afternoon through a penalty kick. Ellie Baker was fouled less than a minute prior, but the referee failed to spot the infringement.
The Reds pulled one back in the 90th minute after Robyn Hall played one of those excellent balls over the top of the defence for Chloe Bailey to run onto to on the right flank and squared the ball to Lucy Driver who scored her second goal of the contest.
In stoppage time Pegasus stopped The Reds getting anywhere near the goal to take the game to penalties with some excellent game management.
The defeat meant The Reds are out of The Vitality FA Cup at the first hurdle but can be encouraged with how they have played in moments. Poor finishing, inconsistent officiating and too many individual mistakes meant they will have to wait another year for an FA Cup run.
Final Score: Hereford Pegasus Ladies 4-3 Redditch United Women
Redditch United Women goals:
Lucy Driver (3,89)
Casey Ryder (27)
Players Player Of The Match and Managers Player Of The Match:
Next up for The Reds is a return to league action next Sunday as they travel to the Your CO-OP Community Stadium to face Leamington Lions Ladies who beat Droitwich Spa Ladies 5-0 away from home on opening day.
More information regarding this fixture will be released in due course. Thank you for your continued support. Up The Reds!!