Redhill's poor record at The Wibbadune continued, having lost their last three games there as Balham claimed all three points last Saturday. It means it's 6 games without a league win for the Reds, a scenario Gavin Gordon hadn’t envisaged at the start of the season.
Gavin was only Mo Diakite away from a full squad as Ashley Snadden returned to the starting line up. New defender Lewis Taylor started alongside Jon Trotter, and Fred Hill was again at left back. Jacob Mendy-Mendy led the line as the manager looked for some much needed cut-and-thrust up front.
The Reds started brightly enough, Kery Kedze having two chances inside 10 minutes - first he had a shot well blocked, and then after a sloppy back-pass, he went round the Balham keeper but with the angle narrowing could only shoot wide. If the first 10 minutes belonged to the Reds, the next period of the game certainly belonged to the hosts.
On 11 minutes The Blazers led, a deep-hanging free kick was powerfully headed home past Rhys Hughes. Poor marking at set pieces once again putting the Reds on the back foot. Balham’s confidence grew as they came into the game much more after that. The nearest the Reds came to levelling the scores came through Mendy-Mendy as his fierce strike smashed off the underside of the bar and away to safety. Redhill went in 1-0 down and the break and looked a shadow of their former selves…where had the fast-moving attack-minded play gone from earlier in the season?
The second half was much like the first, the Reds had a lot of possession but were making too many basic mistakes and showed little cut-and-thrust in the last third. A Kery Kedze cross was met by sub Tony Halsey who's touch went wide. Rhys Hughes was alert in the Reds goals, pulling off a number of superb saves to keep the Reds in the game. There was little he could do about the soft penally awarded on 75 minutes as Ujkaj slotted home Balham’s second. To add to Gavin Gordon’s woes, Halsey had a rush of blood to the head, picking up a Red card (and subsequent 3-match suspension) in the final minutes of the game.
Redhill entertain AFC Hayes at Kiln Brow this Saturday and will be desperately trying to find a win before tough games against Walton & Hersham and Westfield to come.
Updated 10:25 - 8 Nov 2017 by Charlie Bright