Hednesford Town’s title hopes took a huge dent as they suffered a 3-2 home loss against Evo-Stik Northern Premier League leaders North Ferriby United, creating a nine point gap between Town and the Yorkshire side in the process, writes Scott Smith.
On a sodden day Ferriby were quickest out of the blocks as they took the lead after just five minutes. Hednesford were caught in possession in midfield and as Anthony Wilson strode forward down the right his cross was tapped home by Ryan Kendall at the back post.
It took Town some time to come into the game and the closest they came to equalising was when Neil Harvey’s back header hit the crossbar. Meanwhile at the other end Kendall should really have doubled his lead in the 26th minute as he blazed wide with the goal at his mercy.
Seven minutes before the half time whistle Ferriby striker Wilson was fortunate to stay on the pitch as following a free kick into the Hednesford penalty area the front man lunged two footed at goalkeeper Dan Crane, for which he was only punished with a yellow card.
As the rain continued to lash down, Hednesford were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty early in the second period as a clear handball in the Ferriby box was missed by the officials. It would be a crucial decision as just seconds later Ferriby broke forward to double their lead with Ryan Williams’ cross being superbly headed home by Anthony Wilson in the 52nd minute.
Hednesford were able to find a way back into the game on the hour mark though, as a mix-up in the Ferriby defence allowed Harvey to poke the ball over United goalkeeper Adam Nicklin and into the net.
On 68 minutes Town almost levelled as Nathan Woolfe cut inside and his curling effort was somehow finger tipped around the post by Nicklin. From the resulting corner United skipper Paul Foot then headed a goal-bound shot over the bar.
Those two blocks would turn out to be crucial as on 78 minutes Ferriby made it 3-1. Wilson was too quick for Francino Francis as he powered his way through the Hednesford backline and slid the ball home past Crane.
The game then entered something of a lull and was seemingly drifting out into a comfortable victory for the visitors until Aaron Rey was brought down in the penalty area in the 87th minute. Up stepped Elliott Durrell to drill home from the spot and bring his side back into contention.
Although there was plenty of pressure in the final few minutes from the home side, Ferriby were able to stand strong and earn all three points much to the dismay of the majority of the 906 crowd inside Keys Park.
Hednesford Town: Crane, Disney, Taylor, Bailey, Francis, Macpherson (Patterson 75), Melbourne, Durrell, Harvey (Lennon 70), Rey, Woolfe
Subs not used: Barnes, Wright, Fincher
North Ferriby United: Nicklin, Robson, Peat, King (Bolder 41), Anderson, Foot, Clarke, Fry, Wilson, Kendall (Bradshaw 90), Williams (Ridley 70)
Subs not used: Youhill, Pecora