CAPTAIN Adrian Young has vowed his “gutted” Redditch side will learn from their mistakes after surrendering a 2-0 lead in what could prove to be a costly 3-2 defeat to lowly Lichfield 3rds on Saturday.
The setback means the Kingfishers have dropped a place to third in the West Midlands Premier Division and now trail Barford Tigers 2nds in the second promotion place by a point with five matches remaining.
Goals from Jack Gwyer and Jacob Beard put the visitors in command with a 2-0 half-time lead, but Lichfield took advantage of a sloppy second half Redditch performance to emerge victorious.
Young, whose team host bottom side Bridgnorth 2nds on Saturday (1.30pm), said: “This is a bad result for us and at the end of the game the whole team were gutted.
“We’re all pushing for the best result possible in this new league and we’ve taken our eyes off the ball and been punished for it.
“We’ve learnt some hard lessons we’ll take into our remaining games to make us stronger.”
Second-bottom Lichfield were unable to cope with Redditch in the early exchanges and Gwyer used his pace to break clear of the Lichfield defence and slot the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs to open the scoring before Kingfishers’ top-scorer Beard netted his 21st goal of the season to double the advantage.
However, in the second half Redditch failed to get a grip on the game and for the second match in a row they played parts of the second half with ten men.
Lichfield battled hard to try and hit Redditch on the break, stretching the visiting defence until they got their first goal from a fortuitous short corner.
Redditch were missing some of their usual squad members and as the game progressed this showed as the rest of the team worked hard to try and produce a result.
However, by this stage, Lichfield’s counter-attacking style had turned the game around and put Redditch behind.
The visitors had chances to rescue something as George Haslam, Dan Jakeman and Harry Williams all created good opportunities but, when squared across the face of goal, nobody was there to finish the move.
On a positive note, Josh Baker and Ben Morris both made their opening first XI league appearances of the season and showed good skills and composure on the ball.
Redditch 2nds produced a stunning second half performance to go from 1-1 at half-time to eventual 10-2 winners over visitors Yardley in Midlands South West Division One.
The goals were scored by Lee Beedon (3), Richard Sellors (2), Martyn Strong, Matt Walton, Dan Waite, Harry Saunders and Ben Haresign.