First half goals help Reds to three points
Two first half goals saw Redditch United claim a first league win of the season at The Trico Stadium.
The Reds welcomed a St Ives Town side who had taken six points from their first two games to Worcestershire and saw Stefan Moore and debutant Liam Francis secure the goals needed for a first three points of the campaign.
Having slipped to two heavy defeats in their opening two fixtures, there was also a welcome clean sheet as Louis Connor was handed his debut in goal among three others who made their first competitive appearances.
St Ives have been flying at the start of the season and they broke through with a huge chance early on that saw George Bailey drive a shot against the post via a much needed touch from Connor.
It was an early escape for Redditch, and Moore’s goal after only ten minutes proved a useful way of calming any nerves.
The experienced forward stroked in a well-placed finish after the ball fell to him in the box from an attempted clearance to help Redditch go ahead for the first time this season.
And it looked like there were set to be more goals to come as the Reds mounted a number of dangerous attacks.
St Ives goalkeeper Tim Trebes made a fantastic stop on 19 minutes to deny Shaquille Whittingham inside the box following Jamie Ashmore’s cross, but the shot-stopper was picking the ball out of his own net only minutes later when Francis doubled the lead.
Joe Stokes’ corner dropped to Whittingham on the edge of the area, and his drilled effort cannoned in via a deflection from Francis to create some daylight between the teams.
There was almost a spectacular third past the half hour mark. Declan Benjamin’s fabulously taken volley from distance almost flew into the net, only for Trebes to make a solid diving save to his right.
Connor still had to be alert to ensure he kept the visitors at bay before the break. He reacted brilliantly to deny Manashe Sundire's hooked effort inside the area and also kept out another Bailey effort in a crowded box.
It was very much a job done in the first half for the hosts, and a quieter second period was welcome in the search for a first win.
The visitors saw substitute Danny Kelly try to force the issue with his lively movement which ended with a low shot being easily gathered by Connor, while Tom McGowan’s low hit inside the area was also comfortably stopped.
Redditch’s best chance of the half came towards the end of the 90 minutes. However substitute front man Luke Keen couldn’t convert a cross inside the six-yard box from the right hand side.
It was job done though for the Reds who celebrated getting off the mark for the first time this season ahead of next weekend’s trip to Hertfordshire to take on Hitchin Town.