Stratford’s winning run brought to an end
Redditch United 2
Stratford Town 0
BOOSTED by a fourth straight league win at Long Eaton United at the weekend, the Bards rolled into Redditch knowing that three points would see them climb into the play-off places.
But it was the home side who claimed the victory with a goal in each half, Stratford’s cause not being helped by a red card for defensive lynchpin Chris Hussey and some questionable refereeing decisions.
The sending off on 37 minutes was one of the key decisions that the visitors will be unable to gripe about as the former Walsall defender hauled back Redditch’s Jaden White when through on goal. More controversial were the effort that looked to have crossed the United goalline only to be ignored by the officials and the push on a Stratford defender that led to their second goal.
Redditch started the better and a Callum Flanagan header had to be cleared off the line by Ebanks after just seven minutes.
But the Bards settled into their stride with Ebanks twice going close at the other end, having a penalty claim waved away after being clattered by keeper Adam Harrison who then made a decent save to deny Alex Worley.
With 20 minutes gone, Redditch opened the scoring. Danny King pounced on a mistake on Stratford’s left flank and then fired the ball low into the area for the unmarked Alex Cameron to slot home.
Bards skipper Paul McCone crashed a header against the bar before his central defensive partner was given his marching orders and yet it was the visitors who still posed the biggest threat with Ebanks having an effort blocked by the keeper late in the half before substitute Jack Storer had a shot saved.
Both sides continued to press forward and after Reds skipper Reece Flanagan had been denied by keeper Liam O’Brien at his near post, the hosts doubled their lead on 78 minutes when King fired home after appearing to shove Ison off the ball.
Ten minutes later Dylan Barkers looked to have clawed a goal back from close-range after another substitute, Liam Daly, had headed a free-kick back across goal with Tom Solanke then drilling an effort straight at Harrison as the match rolled into the six added on minutes but there was no be no way through.
Redditch United: Harrison, Burton, Melbourne (Soleman 58), Mussa, C Flanagan, Wollacott, R Flanagan, King, Ceesay, White (George 71), Cameron (Henry 84). Subs (not used): Price, Johnston.
Stratford Town: O’Brien, Lafferty (Wilson 69), Worley, Hussey, McCone, Solanke, Molyneux (Storer 56), Barkers, Ebanks, Ison (Daly 86), Williams. Subs (not used): Vann, John.
Referee: Jake Allsopp
BardsStar Man:Charlie Williams
Opposition Star Man: Gift Mussa