Hednesford Town were able to move up to third place in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League following a 2-0 home victory over Eastwood Town on Tuesday night, writes Scott Smith.
Second half goals from Nathan Woolfe and Sean O’Connor proved to be the difference on the evening, however Hednesford were also indebted to goalkeeper Dan Crane as he made a number of crucial saves.
Manager Rob Smith had decided to change things around a little with Phil Clarke, Sean O’Connor and Michael Lennon coming into the starting line-up in-place of Dave Macpherson, Neil Harvey and Aaron Rey.
It was Eastwood who should really have taken the lead after 13 minutes though when Anthony Griffiths Jnr poked the ball goalwards only for Tyiesse Nightingale to tap home on the line when in an offside position, leading to the goal being chalked off.
As the half wore on Hednesford came more into the game and on 28 minutes Lennon flicked an effort just wide of the upright via a slight deflection.
Just two minutes before the break and The Pitmen almost broke the deadlock as Elliott Durrell climbed highest to head against the bar and Ben Bailey was unable to slot home the rebound.
Three minutes into the second period and Hednesford did go ahead. Nathan Woolfe drove forward past three men and unleashed a 25-yeard effort which flew into the bottom corner of the net for his first goal for the club.
It was 2-0 in the 51st minute as a great freekick from Durrell was powerfully headed home by Sean O’Connor, who grabbed his first league goal following his return to the club over the summer.
In-between the goals Crane had been called into action to deny Paul Riley before following it up with another fantastic save not long after the second strike.
Hednesford almost added a third goal on a couple of occasions as first Durrell headed wide at the back post, before good work by Francino Francis and Lennon saw the latter glance a header wide from inside the box in the 72nd minute.
In the end though two goals would be enough for Hednesford though as they made it six league games unbeaten ahead of Saturday’s F.A. Cup 1st Qualifying Round fixture at Redditch United.
Hednesford Town: Crane, Melbourne, Campion, Bailey, Francis, Clarke (Disney 79), Osborne, Durrell, O’Connor (Harvey 76), Lennon (Rey 76), Woolfe
Subs not used: Macpherson, Barnes
Eastwood Town: Andrews, Bailey (Raven 71), Riley (Piliero 86), Graham, Meikle, Green, Elliott, Troke, Nightingale (Simmons 81), Griffiths Jnr, Hollis
Subs not used: Smith
Man of the match: Dan Crane