All the early territory, possession and chances were Celtics. Craig Hobson?s opening effort was blocked on route to goal for a corner by Lee Ayres, and Kristian Platt heading narrowly over the bar from the resulting corner. Callum Warburton too went wide from a corner with Redditch struggling to clear the ball at times. From yet another corner, Hobson was unlucky to see his header crash back off the cross bar, falling to Lloyd Ellams who smashed it towards the top corner only for a Redditch hand to palm the ball around the post, with the keeper stranded. A corner only was the result, no penalty.
A hopeless punt up field was half-heartedly chased by Matt Smith but Tim Ryan was hardly under pressure when the ball bounced in the box, and he turned and provided an exquisite lob over the keeper into the corner ? of his own net.
That gave Redditch a little impetus, and seconds before the interval Paul Green managed Redditch?s first effort of the game, firing into the side netting after Rhys Meynell had pushed him wide.
The second period needed Celtic to up a gear, and they did. A corner, not dealt with by Redditch caused confusion, with Rhys Meynell at the near post the recipient thumping his header into the back of the net. Hobson made it two shortly after with a cracking shot after great build up play with Phil Marsh knocking the ball back for Hobson to hit with some ferocity and though Chris Taylor got a hand to it, he couldn?t keep the ball out of the net.
It could have been three after Connor Jennings found Steve Brogan who sent a dipping swerving shot an inch over the bar before Redditch had a rare foray, with Matt Smith suddenly given the freedom of the park to smash a shot over Jan Budtz and off the corner of post and bar. This signalled a good two minute spell for Redditch, which ended just after Green?s shot whistled wide when he should have done better. Lee Ayres, who had been throwing himself around all afternoon and had already picked up a booking for a reckless challenge slid through the back of Jennings near the corner flag, and when Jennings stood up to him, there was a headbut seen by all and sundry and earned him a straight red.
This allowed Celtic to regain control of the game, and Redditch looked devoid of ideas. Celtic played it cool, until Brogan raced forward, and drew keeper, and both remaining defenders towards him before side footing the ball across to Lee Elam running in for the simplest goal he?ll score.
Just before the final whistle, Paul Green managed to finally register a shot on target for the home side, from distance and straight at Budtz.
|4||Hull, Joe||> 70|
|9||Smith, Matt||> 90|
|11||Hurren, Gavin||> 70|
|12||Edwards, Luke||< 70|
|15||McKenzie, Josh||< 90|
|16||Richards, Jemiah||< 70|