Redditch v City

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Saturday 16th November 2002
Valley Stadium 

   Redditch United v CITY

Dr Martens League Western Division 

City's Team

City will consider themselves to have been robbed at The Valley after a typically competent display some how ended in defeat.

City welcomed back Jimmy Cox to the sub's bench, defying his doctor's advice to wait another six weeks before risking his arm playing football. Mustoe also returned from his midweek illness but Baylo was missing again after his foot problem returned. The home side meanwhile boasted three new signings and also had confidence from having walloped City 5-2 at Meadow Park in September.

Redditch started brightly but after some early pressure it was the hard work and harrying of Mustoe and Wilkinson that gained City the upper hand. Hoskins meanwhile was giving the Redditch defence a quick working over, with some muscular play ruffling a few home feathers. City then opened Redditch up on the first of many occasions, Adie Harris twinkling past a few defenders and pushing the ball through to Lee Smith who then scuffed his shot wide.

At the City end Redditch fired in a few shots from distance and while a couple of them were well wide one flew only inches above the bar and Bath's stretching palm. A few minutes later the keeper had to be alert to rush off the line and smother at the feet of a forward closing in on goal.

Matt Bath was not the busier of the two keepers though, as Redditch's goal lived a charmed life as the half drew to a close. First Andy Hoskins part-pushed and part-dribbled his way into the area and forced Anstiss in the Redditch goal to scramble clear. City then had a spell of concerted pressure with both Hoskins and Griffiths having headers smartly pushed out of the goal. City then suffered further frustration as Harris saw two more shots well saved and Hoskins had a further fierce drive scraped off the line. Even Lee Smith got away but saw his shot blocked before it could trouble the keeper.  

City must have been expecting their first to instigate a rout, but sometimes these things don't go to plan. All the Tigers' domination quickly meant nothing when Redditch grabbed a goal on 55 minutes. Redditch had managed to summon up a little bit more sparkle from the re-start and a deep cross stretched our defence. Mark Scott's header deflected off a stretching Neil Griffiths and wrong footed Bath to leave City scratching their heads and staring at an improbable score line.

City soon mounted a fierce fight back with both Thompson and Harris trying to carry the fight down the flanks. It was the visitors who continued to dominate play and within minutes Steve Jenkins exchanged passes with Burns and saw the defence open up in front of him as he ran towards goal. His shot from distance was wild and wide, a disappointment as he had time to take the ball closer. 

Even though Redditch were now able to find more gaps behind a City defence now risking more to push forward, it was still Gloucester who created the clear chances to add to the score. A few swerving shots were all Redditch could summon up as most of their effort was going in to some desperate defending.

There were still plenty of neat touches and turns from Mustoe in the City midfield and plenty of strong runs from both Harris and Thompson were ending in good crosses. Hoskins was still bustling and City's attack went up an octave when Jimmy Cox was introduced from the bench. Coxy's pace was causing the problems but it was Hoskins who had the better chances. First a long ball from Steadman split the defence and Hosky poked the ball over the keeper, but agonisingly over the bar. His next opportunity was just minutes later, a curling pacey cross from Adie Harris found Hoskins stooping to get his head to the ball. He connected well but again the ball went inches the wrong side of the woodwork. 

A clever neat exchange of passes between Mustoe, Cox and Wilko put Dave Wilkinson in but he saw his shot blocked as he prepared to pull the trigger, leaving Wilko pounding the floor in despair. As the match drew to a close it was substitutes Tom Webb and Cox who were surging forward down the right, Cox sending in an angled shot across goal that eluded all the outstretched legs. However Redditch were putting in some flying tackles and their brave last ditch resistance proved enough to keep the precious lead. 

There is no disguising the disappointment in seeing an 8 game unbeaten run come to an end but there was no shame in this performance. No one has ever claimed football was fair or that matches are won on points. No-one let City down but ultimately we have to take our chances to make that top six spot.

(HT: 0-0)




Jenkins Bookings
Wilkinson 9th

(for 9; 66)
(for 11; 78)


not named


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