PAUL Smith has his first win in charge of Redditch United as trusted general Robbie Bunn’s added-time winner saw off Halesowen Town 2-1.

Midfielder Bunn, who also played under Smith at Bromsgrove Sporting and Highgate United, rattled inside the near post after forcing his way past two defenders with time ebbing away the Valley Stadium. 

The Reds deserved to progress in the Southern League Cup, albeit after being second best before prior to an opening goal which came in fortuitous circumstances.

Yeltz had created a number of chances and Bradley Lewis thought he had scrambled in the opener from a messy corner but his pleas for a goal fell on deaf ears.

United wasted no time in breaking away with play spread from the left for ex-Worcester City striker Dave Reynolds to tuck inside the far post seven minutes before half-time having waited what felt like an age for the pass.

From there the hosts grew in stature and would have been further ahead at the break but for away keeper Cameron Gregory fisting away a rising eight-yard volley from Reynolds and Ed Wagner heading over a corner when free six yards out.

Redditch looked fluent after the interval with Shaquille Leachman-Whittingham and substitute Ollie Mulders testing the water.

Halesowen striker James Roberts wanted a penalty midway through the second half and his side gradually began to threaten with the final 15 minutes approaching.

Aaron Gilpin was Town’s brightest spark, cutting in with pace from the left and while Whittingham should have made the game safe for Redditch, walloping out of the ground having weaved effortlessly through two challenges, there would be a sting in the tail.

Gilpin jetted down the left and crossed with no Halesowen players in the centre but nervous defender Nyeko Sinclair wildly lashed away when he could have taken a touch.

The ball ricocheted off a team-mate for Roberts to steam in with a crisp low leveller.

Sinclair immediately had to come off through injury but Redditch kept pressing with 10 men and warranted their last-gasp winner.

Some assertive play through Montel Gibson and Mulders saw the latter feed Bunn to the right of the box with his tenacity earning the chance to shoot and decide matters as the prospect of penalties loomed large.

Redditch: Pierce, Ashmore, Tye, Loveridge, Wagner, Sinclair, Birch (Mulders, 61), Bunn, Reynolds (Gibson, 69), Leachman-Whittingham (Howards, 83), Mills. Unused subs: Keen, Summerfield.

Halesowen: Gregory, Tonks, Kelly, Goddard, Morris, Lewis (Wheatley, 69), Gilpin, Bragoli (Grainger, 83), Roberts, Agbor, Hayes-Docherty. Unused subs: Glass, Ward, Warmer.

Referee: Scott Tallis.

Attendance: 135.