AFC Totton’s six-match winning streak was ended at Redditch United on Saturday – despite the Stags facing ten men for the final 50 minutes at the Valley Stadium.
For much of the first half it looked as though it might be a repeat of last season’s two goalless stalemates between the sides in the Southern Premier Division.
But Redditch broke the deadlock on 36 minutes when the lively Stuart Hendrie – younger brother of ex- Aston Villa star Lee, floated in a neat ball from the left which Jack Cresswell diverted past Gareth Barfoot into the far corner.
Four minutes later the home side appeared to undo their good work when Alex Price received a second yellow for a rash challenge on Jonathan Davies.
But, against the odds, Redditch soaked up some early second-half pressure from the Stags and doubled their advantage with just under an hour played when Liam McDonald picked up possession on the left side of midfield and beat the static Barfoot with a speculative shot from 35 yards.
Totton’s frustration at not being able to break down the resolute ten men increased as the game wore on and manager Steve Riley replaced defender Luke Whitley with winger Luke Roberts to try and open things up.
But, with top gun Richard Gillespie well marshalled by Reds defender Asa Charlton, the visitors’ scoring opportunities were limited until substitute Chris Mason grabbed a consolation three minutes from time.