REDDITCH gained at least a modicum of revenge for their FA Cup defeat at Stratford back in September with a comfortable 3-0 success in the second round of the BigFreeBet.com Cup at the Trico Stadium on Tuesday night, writes Bryan Hale.
With Saturday’s FA Trophy tie at Lancaster in mind, manager Carl Adams fielded a much changed team here.
Only Louis Connor, Justin Marsden, Loyiso Recci and Dan Summerfield from the weekend’s starting line-up against Bishop’s Stortford also started here, while the Town boss drafted in Dean Poulson and Daniel Stokes from FC Stratford.
The early exchanges were fairly even, but when the Reds took the lead in the 15th minute it was down to a Town mistake.
Christian Tudorache was caught in possession by Zaqib Hussain who ran on to reach the penalty area and shoot right footed past Connor.
Town responded with Stokes seizing on a half chance to fire wide under pressure from ex-Town defender Marcel Simpson, but the Reds were looking the sharper of the two sides and the lively Hussain set up an opening for Spencer Weir-Daley, whose shot rebounded away off Recci.
Stokes wasn’t far away with a header from a James Hancocks cross on the half-hour mark, but the Reds doubled their lead in the final minute of the first half when Pauly Apostolopoulos floated a free-kick into the Town six-yard box for Orrin Pendley to direct a looping header beyond Connor into the net.
And ten minutes into the second half the Reds put the result beyond doubt when substitute Reece Jacobs stumbled and eventually fell under a challenge from Summerfield as he turned into the penalty area and referee Matthew Law immediately pointed to the spot.
Weir-Daley blasted it past Connor with the minimum of fuss and it was effectively all over.
To their credit, Town kept going to the end with Poulson going close with a low drive on 64 minutes and having a later effort deflected behind as did Stokes with two minutes to go, but the Reds weren’t seriously troubled in seeing the game out.
Stratford Town: Louis Connor, Christian Tudorache, James Hancocks, Dean Poulson, Loyiso Recci, Dan Summerfield, Daniel Stokes. Justin Marsden (c), Jazz Luckie, Eli Bako, Charlie Evans.
Redditch United: Ethan Ross, Keenah Rosser, Zaqib Hussain, Guy Mailancol, Marcel Simpson (Gowan Stares 74), Orrin Pendley, Joseph Billingham, Kyle Belmonte, Danico Johnson (Reece Jacobs 44), Pauly Apostolopoulos (Jack Nicholls 72), Spencer Weir-Daley.