A late start due to the Redditch team enduring a nightmare journey saw the game finish with the visitors wishing they had stayed at home.

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 4 REDDITCH UNITED 1
Harry Williams Riverside Stadium
Tuesday 15 November 2016
BuildBase FA Trophy 2nd Qualifying Round
Attendance: 139

Despite the delay, it was the team from the Southern League Premier Division – one step higher than the Rams – who started the brighter, but once the home side had their noses in front, the result was never in doubt.

Just 16 minutes were on the clock when a Grant Spencer left-wing corner was cleverly back-headed across a crowded penalty area by Ryan Salmon and into the far top corner.  That grabbed the initative from the Reds and the home side never looked back.

A second goal duly arrived on 33 minutes, when a through ball found skipper Gareth Seddon, surrounded by two challenging defenders.  The experienced striker controlled the ball well, holding off his opponents, before unleashing a terrific strike from just outside the area that flew past a startled Bradley Catlow in the visitors’ goal to much acclaim from the home support.

In recent games there has been a tendency for the Rams to run out of steam in the second half but, whilst the introduction of Redditch player-manager Darren Byfield, the former Aston Villa man, saw the visitors put in more of a shift after the break, the home side continued to be resolute across the park.

Whatever was thrown at them was well handled by the well-drilled defence, whilst the middle of the park had the workmanlike performances of Alex Meaney, Damian Green and Spencer dominating.  Up front the danger posed by Salmon and Seddon caused a constant problem for the midlanders, and it was Salmon who again struck to put the game to bed on 74 minutes.  The former Bamber Bridge man stooped low to direct a header inside the near post from a Green right-wing corner to notch the Rams’ third goal on the night and his seventh from the last six games.

Meaney put more gloss on the performance as injury time was played – Catlow had raced out of his goal to clear the ball, but it fell at the feet of the industrious midfielder, who promptly looked up to see a gaping goal 30 yards ahead of him, into which he fired home.  With almost the last action of the game, Luke Shearer poked the ball home from close range, but it was merely a consolation for the team from Worcestershire, who had a night to forget.

The Rams will now meet National League North side AFC Telford United at home in the third qualifying round of the FA Trophy on Saturday 26th November.

TEAMS:
Ramsbottom United: Charlie Albinson, Dean Stott, Josh Askew, Alex Meaney, Luke Thompson, Paul Linwood, Damian Green, Grant Spencer, Ryan Salmon, Gareth Seddon, Matthew Atherton.  Subs: Lee Botham, Nat Taylor (for Salmon 85mins), Oliver Crankshaw (for Atherton 78mins), Sam Freakes (for Seddon 80mins).

Redditch United: Bradley Catlow, Jordan Cullinane-Liburd, Jordan Brown, Max Loveridge, Clayton McDonald, Duane Courtney, Eli Bako, Ahmed Ali, Luke Shearer, Simeon Cobourne, Apostolis Apostocopoulos.  Subs: Darren Byfield (for Ali 45mins), Nat Kelly (for Brown 34mins), Cameron Young (for Apostocopoulos 67mins).

Referee: Ian Johnston (Wakefield)

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