The Lambs entered the final week of the 2021-22 season welcoming The Reds from The Valley stadium to the CR MOT Community Stadium for the 99th meeting between the two sides.
The teams were side by side in the league table, the home side in 13th, 3 points above the visitors in 14th, themselves just 3 points ahead of third from bottom Barwell. And with lower half teams all looking for points, mathematically, anything could happen in the final seven days with all teams looking for safety as they headed to the finish line.
Andy Peaks made three changes to the side that earned a point on the road at Lowestoft seven days previously, to extend the unbeaten run to 10 games (3 wins, 7 draws) with Chris Cox and Shaquille Whittingham not Featuring and Jack Concannon on the bench, Ryan Beswick returned with the captains armband with Jordan Clement and Dexter Walters making up the starting eleven.
In the glorious Easter weekend sunshine after a well respected minute’s applause in memory of Redditch player Tom Rankine, Redditch got the game underway attacking the Meadow Street End of the ground and immediately went on the attack with one time United player Clement striking low and hard for goal but it cannoned back of a visiting defender.
A Beswick corner then caused some problems and on 6 Charlton was booked for upending McKeown as he tried to advance over the half way line..
A long Hurst throw forced the Redditch defence to be on their guard on 8 and at the other end on 13 Wilder clattered with Donnelly in the box defending a near post cross and conceded the corner which Singh didn’t meet with his fist and Wallacott headed out of play.
Another Hurst throw on 18 was worked back to the thrower and his deep ball into the box was fumbled by Boucher but recovered before Creaney could pounce and he was caught offside in the next move when Walters threaded the pass through the Redditch back line.
The players took a drinks break midway through the half and Walters broke through on 25 but Creaney was unable to get the ball down on the edge of the box as the Redditch defence held strong.
Walters broke through down the left on 28 and saw his low cross cleared off the toes of the waiting Creaney but a slip by The Lambs defence saw Hurst booked for a pull on Sodeinde and United lined up the deadball on the edge of the D which Edmunds struck over the wall into the hands of Singh.
Byrne tugged the shirt of Clement as he tried to forge a path to the box in the left channel on 36 and Beswick’s freekick was headed high over the bar into the travelling fans behind the goal.
In a bid to create more chances Walters and McKeown swapped sides for the latter stages of the first half but one was handed to The Lambs on 40 when Luke Rowe pulled Mussa back on the half way line and was booked for his efforts. Beswick’s freekick came to nothing though.
The United captain was booked for a push on Mussa a couple of minutes later as Redditch pushed forward but were unable to create any chances.
In the first minute of added time Wilder’s shot went out for a corner on the left and Walters deadball was headed away by the covering defender on the line in the final action of a goalless and nearly clear-cut-chanceless first half.
Tamworth went in search of an early goal after kicking off the second half with Creaney and Clement both having good chances but wayward or incomplete shots, and a foul on Walters on the left set up Beswick with the deadball on 48 but it was headed away.
Another Lambs corner was forthcoming on 50 and Walters high flagkick was taken well by Boucher at height in amongst a crowded box.
United then pressed and forced a corner themselves on the left and made Tamworth defend until play switched and Creaney fired a low shot from the left of the box at Boucher who smothered it easily.
Play switched quickly to the other end but Redditch failed to test Singh from a corner on the right and they forced another on 64 on the left which Creaney headed away from the near post.
McKeown chase the ball down the right and earned a corner on 65 which Beswick planted onto the head of Creaney but he nodded it wide and Concannon replaced Clement on 66.
Luke Rowe got his head onto a deep cross from the right on 71 but was unable to get it on target or to a teammate and play stopped when Walters went down and he was unable to continue so Tahra replaced him on 73.
Tahra then nearly made it a perfect appearance but fired a yard wide of the right hand post from 18 yards after a good passage of play and Creaney was beaten to a header on 76 then was unable to bundle the ball home from the flagkick.
Mussa saved the day with a telling tackle when Sodeinde found himself in space on the left of the box on 76 and the United man needed extended treatment for cramp and was substituted.
Redditch took a couple of corner which both came to nothing but on Edmunds 85 struck the cross bar with a cross shot that deceived Singh.
And then The Lamb erupted when Tahra struck into the back of the net from distance giving Boucher no chance whatsoever in a late contender for Goal Of The Season! (1-0, 87 mins)
Yeomans was unable to continue with cramp on 89 and Creaney nearly added a very late second but screwed his shot from 20 yards over the target.
Dawes brought the best out of Singh with a low save, pushing the ball round the post for a corner which Flanagan headed well wide of the mark and McKeown was denied a neat finish by Boucher who came off his line to close the angles down on 93 before the final whistle blew on 3 points and an eleventh unbeaten game.
Singh, Yeomans (Howkins 89), Wilder, Beswick, Hurst, Bailey, Clement (Concannon 66), Mussa, Creaney, McKeown, Walters (Tahra 73)
Subs: Fallows, Parker
Boucher, Donnelly, Hudson, Charlton (Dawes HT), Flanagan, Wollacott, L. Rowe, Edmunds, Sodeinde (T. Rowe 79), Hewlett, Byrne (c.)
Subs: Shields, Day, Keene
YC: Charlton 6, L. Rowe 40, Byrne 43
MOM: Gift Mussa
Referee: Mr. Corbett