Report by the
A LONG-RANGE effort early in the second half handed Stourbridge the spoils in this tense Boxing Day tussle at the Valley Stadium.
The Reds had been in control until a double substitution at the start of the second half handed the visitors the initiative.
There was an early scare when, on 16 minutes, former Red Sean Geddes threaded a ball through to Sam Rock and it needed a brave save from keeper Dean Coleman to deny him.
But from then on it was the home side who dominated the chances until the break.
Three minutes later Jimmy Deabill rose to head an Aaron Stringfellow cross at the Stourbridge keeper and a Stringfellow free-kick on 25 minutes resulted in Tom Berwick having an effort blocked by visiting defender Sam Smith.
The Reds carved out another chance on 29 minutes when some excellent work from young winger Jake Jones saw him skip past two defenders only to drag the ball back rather than shoot and the opportunity went begging.
But the game turned at the start of the second half. Central defender Alex Hickman was replaced by former Kidderminster Harriers youngster Aaron Forde prompting a defensive reshuffle.
And with four minutes of the half gone, United manager Graham Hyde was forced into another change when the excellent Tommy Warmer hobbled off to be3 replaced by Aaron Moses-Garvey.
Within a minute, Ben Billingham had seen a shot headed behind for a corner and the flag kick saw Nathan Bennett power a header goalwards which Coleman managed to claw away.
The goal came in the 61st minute. A corner was headed out to Billingham and the Stourbridge skipper sent a low 25-yard shot into the net, a slight deflection not helping the unsighted Coleman.
The visitors continued to push and Aaron Drake pushed a shot wide following a marauding run down the left by Aaron Griffiths.
A second Redditch debutante Aaron Williams glanced a header just over from a Tom Berwick corner nine minutes from time but this was to be as close as they got to an equaliser.
The visitors went even closer three minutes from time when Leon Broadhurst created space for a shot only for Coleman to deny him with a smart reflex save.
Reds: Coleman 8, Stringfellow 7, Robinson 6, Warmer 8 (Moses-Garvey 48, 6), Hickman 6 (Forde 45, 6), GRIMES 8, Jones 8, Halsall 7 (Williams 75), Deabill 6, Berwick 6, Osborne 6. Subs (not used): Grandison, Bedford