No points for the Reds as Hitchin trip ends in defeat
Dan Webb’s first half goal saw Redditch United return home from Hitchin Town’s Top Field empty handed at the start of the August Bank Holiday weekend.
In what is the first of two games in three days for the Reds, Hitchin earned their first points of the new season, as Paul Davis’s side make the short trip to Alvechurch on Monday looking for a first away victory of the new season.
Redditch had goalkeeper Louis Connor to thank for a number of important stops throughout the afternoon which came as early as the first minute when the former Stratford Town stopper did well to keep out an early effort.
He was also kept busy to keep the ball out of his net from his own players when shortly after Liam Francis’s awkward clearance almost spiralled in.
The speedy Shaquille Whittingham burst down the left on 10 minutes and saw his strike pushed away by Michael Johnson in the Hitchin goal, but the Reds fell behind when Webb poked the hosts in front.
Hitchin debutant Noah Chesmain’s deep cross from the left was met by Webb at the back post who applied the touch needed to break the deadlock.
A couple of chances fell Redditch’s way before the interval. Declan Benjamin’s attempt at an overhead kick ended up wide, while Stefan Moore’s positive pass into the path of Whittingham saw the latter cut inside and fire just over.
After the break captain Joel Meade spurned a huge opportunity from a Joe Stokes corner. The ball landed at his feet in the box but he could only shoot wide.
There was good fortune to come for Redditch though minutes later. The hosts were awarded a penalty and Elliott Bailey’s effort from 12 yards flew emphatically over the bar to ensure only one goal continued to separate the two sides.
Redditch failed to capitalise on Hitchin’s missed opportunity, and it was in fact the hosts who looked likely to get the games next goal.
Connor made a good block save to prevent substitute Isaac Galliford from netting, while he made another good stop to keep out Charlie Smith’s long range effort.
Former Luton youngster Galliford provided a real threat down the left after coming on, and he was unlucky not to find the net on 77 minutes when his run and shot rattled the crossbar.
There was still a need for Connor to be alert to keep out the matches two final efforts. Robbie Burns free kick was pushed away and near the full time whistle Galliford was again denied, on a frustrating afternoon for Redditch who created little in front of goal but had Connor to thank for limiting the difference between the two sides at the other end.