Written by Dan Keley
Image by Neil Jay
Redditch United came into the game looking to build on back-to-back wins despite a week’s break, where as Leamington were hopeful of bouncing back after consecutive 1-0 defeats.
Last term in The FA Trophy Redditch made it to the Second Round after beating Hitchin Town and AFC Totton respectively before bowing out to Chelmsford City after a 2-1 defeat at The Melbourne Stadium.
Meanwhile, Leamington made it to the Third Round but fell to a 2-1 defeat to Tamworth at The Lamb Ground.
There was an early chance after two minutes for Redditch after Prince Henry had a go from close range, but goalkeeper Callum Hawkins was equal to it.
Dan Meredith put in a superb ball into the box in the seventh minute for the visitors, but Henry Landers couldn’t direct his header goalwards.
Callum Rowe went on a wonderful run in the 11th minute through midfield but failed to direct his shot on target and less than a minute later Leamington forced Harrison into a save at close range after Henry Landers played in Callum Stewart.
Redditch scored the opening goal of the game in the seventeenth minute after The Reds were awarded a free kick at the edge of the box after a foul on AJ George. Callum Rowe curled a cross into a dangerous area and Calum Flanagan was on hand to head the ball past Callum Hawkins into the Leamington net.
The Reds had a few brilliant chances to double their lead before the break. Firstly, in the 24th minute after AJ George held onto the ball on the left-hand side then made a burst of pace inside to tee up Danny King whose shot went over the bar.
Five minutes later Callum Hawkins pulled off an excellent double save firstly from full back Bradley Burton and then from Prince Henry’s rebound. Redditch were beginning to push for that elusive second goal to give them breathing space.
Three minutes later Redditch missed a guilt edge opportunity to double their lead after some wonderful link up play between AJ George and Danny King but the striker put his shot wide from six yards. The Reds must’ve been wondering if this second goal was ever going to come as their play merited going into the break with more goals.
The visitors didn’t have much in the way of chances during Redditch’s pressure to add to their tally, but Josh Quaynor spotted Adam Harrison off his line, but his shot went over the bar.
In the second half, Redditch were under some pressure from The Brakes and struggled to get a foot on the ball in the opening stages of the half. In the 51st minute, Adam Harrison was forced to parry the ball after Callum Stewart had a header towards goal.
The Red’s were awarded a penalty just before the hour mark after AJ George was fouled inside the penalty area and of course The Ginger Pirlo, our captain Reece Flanagan was on hand to tuck the penalty kick into the bottom left-hand corner of the net after Callum Hawkins dived the other way.
Leamington had a couple of half chances with Ewan Williams and Adam Walker’s efforts in the 70th and 84th minute both went over the bar. Two minutes later Liam Armstrong had a chance to put the tie to bed after some great play, but his shot went wide of the post from outside of the box.
The Brakes were rewarded with their pressure in stoppage time when substitute Jack Edwards pulled one back, but the goal was only a consolation as Redditch saw the final moments out.
Redditch came out 2-1 winners to advance into the next round which will be played on Saturday 28th October 2023 with the draw to be announced on Monday 8th October. As a result of The Reds progression, our home game against Stratford Town on Saturday 28th October will be rescheduled.
Final Score: Redditch United 2-1 Leamington
Redditch United Goals:
Calum Flanagan (17′)
Reece Flanagan (58′)
Player Of The Match:
Calum Flanagan As Voted by matchday sponsors HR Employment Bureau.
Next up for The Red’s is a trip to Berkhamsted Town on Saturday 14th October 2023 with a scheduled kick off time of 3pm.
Redditch are back at The Valley on Saturday 21st October when they host Nuneaton Borough in the League. Tickets can be purchased in advance at a discounted rate, click here.
Thank you for all your continued support. Up The Reds!