Hednesford Town slipped to their first league defeat of 2012 on a wet evening in Merseyside. The pitch had been subject of an afternoon pitch inspection and although the ground was a little heavy it seemed to play ok given the conditions.
The Pitmen made just one change from the team that had defeated Chester on the previous Saturday with Mark Beesley coming in for Elliott Durrell. The winger dropped to the bench, where he was joined by the returning Danny Quinn – following a month away at Mickleover Sports.
It was an end-to-end affair in the opening minutes with Marine having a half chance in the sixth minute when Hednesford defender Cheyenne Dunkley had to react quickly to snuff out striker Neil Harvey.
Town then had two chances to take the lead, as first Jamie Osborne saw his shot tipped over by home keeper Ryan McMahon before Beesley flashed a header wide from a Kyle Haynes cross.
On 20 minutes the deadlock was to be broken though. Marine striker Harvey found his way through the Hednesford defence and smashed the ball home from just inside the area.
Town almost dragged themselves level on 30 minutes when Chris Clements’ corner was superbly met by Dunkley, but his header from six yards out was cleared off the line by Harvey.
The start of the second half saw Marine have two great chances to kill off the game as first Harvey found himself through on goal, only to miss hit his shot wide.
While on 48 minutes the Pitmen were indebted to goalkeeper Dan Crane for keeping them in it, as he excellently tipped Paul Brown’s driving effort behind for a corner.
Hednesford continued to try and find a way through without having any real efforts on target, although Jay Denny saw an effort blocked by McMahon inside the area.
A moment of magic from Gary Hay almost created an opportunity, as he drifted past five opposition players before being denied at the last.
Ten minutes from time Town almost grabbed an equaliser. Following some good link-up play Beesley found room inside the box, but his driving effort took a slight deflection and clipped the crossbar to go out for a corner.
In the end it was to be one of those evenings for Hednesford as they slipped to a narrow 1-0 defeat. They must now forget about this game as they prepare to travel to FC United of Manchester on Saturday.
Marine: McMahon, Duff (Lundon 81), L Barnes, Shaw, S Barnes (Byers 90), Lawton (Fowler 81), Brown, Goulding, Rey, Harvey, Ordish
Subs not used: Dawson, Latham
Hednesford Town: Crane, Haynes, Campion, Dunkley, Bailey, Denny, Osborne, Clements (Blakeman 74), Jevons (Landell 74), Hay (Robinson 72), Beesley
Subs not used: Durrell, Quinn