First half display costs Redditch at Alvechurch
Three first half goals condemned Redditch United to August Bank Holiday defeat at nearby Alvechurch.
The Reds returned to action with the shortest journey of the season at Lye Meadow following Saturday’s loss at Hitchin, but saw three goals conceded in the first 20 minutes lead to another defeat.
A horrendous start immediately put the Reds on the back foot. Alvechurch lifted the ball forward and after Louis Connor had blocked Kieran Cook’s snap shot, the ball eventually ricocheted into the path of Dave Bellis who headed in from close range to open the scoring after just 24 seconds.
It was the worst possible opening to the game for Paul Davis’ side, and it would get even worse shortly after Tom Winters well-taken free kick had forced Matt Sargeant into a good save down the other end.
An Alvechurch break saw right back Josh Ezewele, brother of Redditch’s Louis cut inside, and he dispatched an excellent low finish past the outstretched Connor to double the hosts advantage.
The home side, who defeated Bromsgrove Sporting in the FA Cup on Saturday, netted their third only minutes later. A low driven cross from Cook on the left hand side was turned into his own net by Jordan Mills when looking to hook it away.
It almost got worse for Redditch when Danny O’Callaghan’s header on 25 minutes flew just over from a wide free kick, while there was a chance for the Reds just before half time on the counter-attack.
Declan Benjamin won the ball in midfield and set experienced forward Stefan Moore clear, but he saw his low hit deflect out for a corner.
Alvechurch’s job was very much done by the half time interval, and a quieter second half saw Montel Gibson and Shaquille Whittingham come on as half time substitutes for Redditch, in a 45 minutes of little opportunities.
Gibson headed over a Winters cross over the bar early on in the half, while on 65 minutes another Redditch counter-attack saw Leam Howards set Whittingham free, but his low strike was saved by Sargeant diving to his right.
There was to be no heroic comeback from Redditch, though Giancarlo Gabbiadini, making his first appearance of the season, did force a good save from Sargeant again at the death, but Alvechurch wrapped up their victory as Redditch prepare for a third consecutive away trip to Leiston next weekend.