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Rugby Town

Redditch United
Howards 7'
Sinclair 57'

Rugby Town

Rugby Town
Evans 28', 90', 90'+4
Rosser 82'
Johnson sent off 80'

Charlie Evans - Redditch United 2-4 Rugby Town - September 2018 - FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round
Charlie Evans stepped up to become 10-man Rugby's hat-trick hero to win through against opponents who are two leagues higher

Saturday 8 September 2018

FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round
Trico Stadium, Redditch
Attendance 242
Valley Star Man

Charlie Evans scored a hat-trick as Rugby Town pulled off a sensational late FA Cup comeback to defeat Southern League Premier Central side Redditch United.

With ten minutes remaining it looked bleak for Valley who trailed 2-1 and had just seen top scorer Danico Johnson given a red card, however the visitors scored three times in the final eight minutes to win through to the next round of the competition in remarkable fashion.

Manager Carl Adams made one change to the previous line-up with winger Simeon Tulloch making his first start of the season in place of Lewis Rankin, but it was the hosts who took the initiative.

Valley keeper Matt Hill had done well to turn a Montel Gibson shot round the post, but after the resulting corner another Gibson effort was only parried by Hill and Leam Howards pounced to smash the ball home from close range to give United an early lead.

The home side nearly scored again from a corner shortly after when Luke Edwards was on hand to block a goalbound header to the near post, before Town finally created their first opening of the game when Dominic Perkins played in Evans - whose shot was subsequently smothered by ex-Rugby keeper Louis Connor.

Town were level on 28 minutes when the unmarked Evans headed home a well-delivered deep cross by Justin Marsden, and the visitors went on to end the first half confidently with Johnson twice denied after neat flowing moves from Rugby.

The first real opportunity of the new period also fell to Valley, when a long ball forward by Hill found Johnson and he then picked out the run of Richard Blythe - but the midfielder's shot was tipped away for a corner.

However Redditch were back in front on 57 minutes when half-time substitute Nyeko Sinclair headed home a Tom Winters' inswinging free-kick at close quarters.

Once more Town responded well to the setback, and with Johnson causing the United back-line all sorts of problems, they pushed hard for a second equaliser.

Tulloch put one wide after Johnson's quick break and pass had released him, and Rankin fired one over the bar not long after his introduction from the bench.

Another Rankin effort was deflected just high of the target, before Connor comfortably gathered a Tulloch strike as the chances continued to come for Rugby, although at the other end Stefan Moore did loop a volley into the hands of Hill after Edwards had mistimed his attempted header.

With the game becoming increasingly direct in its nature, Moore curled another effort just wide and Shaquille Whittingham also flashed one the wrong side of the post for the hosts, whilst Town were still competing well without really troubling Connor extensively.

The dynamic changed with ten minutes remaining though, when Johnson was red carded after an off the ball incident with Dan Summerfield.

Tulloch was soon charging down the left wing and his excellent cross from the byline picked out Keenah Rosser - who did well to head home under pressure from his marker.

With the expectation that Valley would now seek to hold out for a draw and a replay at Butlin Road, instead they continued to worry the hosts with Tulloch's deflected shot drifting just wide.

The ninety minutes were about up when Rugby took the lead, when Rosser's deep cross was scuffed by Rankin into the path of Evans - who gratefully hooked home his second of the game.

A wild shot from distance by Summerfield was the closest Redditch came to troubling Town in added time, before any doubts were eliminated when Blythe squared the ball across the box for Evans to complete his hat-trick and a famous Valley victory.

Valley Line-up: Hill; Rosser, Perkins, Recci, Edwards; Blythe, Bunting (Rankin); Marsden, Tulloch, Evans; Johnson. Subs not used: Martin, Kavanagh, Steele, Adams. Booked: Perkins, Marsden. Sent off: Johnson

Redditch line-up: Connor, Summerfield, Mills, Meade, Francis, Sebbeh-Njie, Whittingham, Benjamin, Gibson, Howards, Winters. Subs: Gabbiadini, Pierce, Moore, Loveridge, Sinclair, Willcock.

Valley Line-up - Redditch United 2-4  Rugby Town - September 2018 - FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round
Photos: Martin Pulley
Celebration - Redditch United 2-4 Rugby Town - September 2018 - FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round
Rugby celebrate their late goals which saw off Redditch at the Trico Stadium

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