Needham Market are well beaten to round off a poor February for Richard Wilkins’ side

Needham's Jake Dye, left, won a penalty at Redditch. Picture: BEN POOLEY

Needham's Jake Dye, left, won a penalty at Redditch. Picture: BEN POOLEY - Credit: Archant

Redditch United 4 Needham Market 1

Despite taking an early lead, through a Joseph Marsden penalty, the Marketmen slumped to a hugely disappointing defeat, as Redditch replied with two goals in each half, which included a brace from Shaquille Leachman-Whittingham, wries Paul Munn.

The Marketmen were hoping to sign off the month with a confidence boosting performance, having only taken a point during the course of it.

They were first out of the blocks and looked to have things under control when they were awarded a penalty in the fifth minute, after Robert Evans blocked a cross with his hands.

Up stepped Joseph Marsden to slot home the spot kick in his usual fashion.

The response from the home side was immediate and within two minutes they had levelled the score. A simple through ball from Danico Johnson bypassed the defence allowing Leachman-Whittingham to latch onto it and slide it passed the keeper.

The hosts then took over command of the game and created a few chances. Robert Evans trying to make amends for his early error forced a save from Jake Jessup and Jack Storer had two efforts which neither managed to find the target. Marketmen, meanwhile, were trying to regain the ascendancy, had efforts from James Baker and Keiran Morphew saved by the hosts keeper, Adam Whitehouse.

Most Read

Two minutes before the break Redditch took the lead.

Jack Storer put in a ball across the edge of the 18-yard line, which Damico Johnson chested down to tee up Robbie Bunn, who accurately side footed the ball into the right hand bottom corner.

The game once more nearly had two goals in two minutes when the Marketmen were awarded another penalty.

This time it was Jake Dye’s bursting run into the area which was brought to an abrupt end by Leachman-Whittingham. Up stepped Marsden once more, he took it in his usual fashion, but Adam Whitehouse guessed the right way to go and pulled off a good save.

With only seven minutes of the second half played Redditch increased their lead.

A ball from the right found Jack Storer in space, he played it in to Leachman-Whittingham, who calmly slide it passed Jake Jessup.

In the following couple of minutes the Marketmen, looking to respond, had a penalty claim turned down after James Baker went down in the area and saw a Gareth Heath effort go wide.

Just before the hour mark Redditch’s Jack Storer fired an effort goal wards it looked like Jessup would gather it up, but he let it get away from his grasp and in trying to make amends he impeded Richard Batchalor, giving the referee no other option than to award his third spot kick of the afternoon.

Danico Johnson was handed the responsibility and placed his effort towards the left hand corner, however Jake Jessup guessed correctly and went the right way to pull off a good save to give the keepers the upper hand in the penalty stakes. Unfortunately, he could do nothing at all with the follow up, as Johnson reacted the quickest and easily stroked the rebound into the back of the net.

The goal ended this one as a contest. The last 30 minutes were littered with changes from both sides and saw neither side really create anything meaningful.

This result meant Redditch’s victory has put them five points clear of the relegation zone and whilst the disappointed Marketmen remain in ninth spot, but they are now eight points off the play-off berths.

Redditch United: Whitehouse, Ashmore, Bowen, McGrath (Franklin 59), Parsons, Evans, Leachman-Whittingham, Bunn, Johnson (Nelson 67), Storer, Batchalor (Downing 79)

Needham Market: Jessop: Dye (Squire 68), Sturgess, Short, Morphew (K), Morphew (D), Marsden, Heath (Kamanzi 88), Ingram, Griffiths (Mills 77), Marsden