For the second time this season Hednesford Town came from behind with just 17 minutes remaining to earn all three points following a magnificent turnaround victory over Solihull Moors at the Autotech Stadium, writes Scott Smith.
The Pitmen went into the game without top scorer Elliott Durrell, who could only take a place on the bench after failing an earlier fitness test, whilst in the warm-up they suffered another blow when Jamey Osborne was forced off with an injury to be replaced by Dave Macpherson.
With the majority of the Midlands under a deluge of wet weather Solihull was no different and as the game got underway rumbles of thunder could still be heard in the distance, whilst the rain continued to fall onto the already sodden surface.
As such both sides found it tricky going in the opening exchanges with Nathan Blissett flashing an effort just wide in the 17th minute being the closest either side would come in the first quarter of the match.
It would be the home side that would strike first though in the 32nd minute. A cross into the Town box wasn’t dealt with and as the ball stopped in a puddle of water Gary Birch was quickest to react to slam home and give his side the lead.
As the first half came to a close the rain abated somewhat and the sun even made a flirting appearance. Moving into the second period Hednesford started it very much on the front foot with Kris Taylor seeing his in-swinging corner cleared off the line before Paul McCone struck the crossbar with a headed effort.
Although Dan Crane was forced into a smart save from Birch at the other end it was very much one way traffic with Taylor seeing a 20-yard free kick deflected behind for yet another corner.
Despite Town being very much on top they suffered a sucker punch in the 73rd minute when a cross into the box was headed back across by Birch for Ryan Beswick to slide home at the back post to double his side’s lead.
Hednesford’s comeback started in earnest just two minutes later though when Neil Harvey just managed to wriggle the ball through to Wayne Riley who finished smartly from eight yards out.
The hosts almost put the game beyond Town with 12 minutes remaining, only for Darren Campion to clear a goalbound effort off the line. This would prove to be crucial as in the 83rd minute The Pitmen dragged themselves level with Harvey superbly heading home from a Taylor corner.
When it seemed that both sides would settle for a point Rob Smith’s men had other ideas as, with just three minutes remaining, another Taylor corner caused confusion and Francino Francis stabbed home from inside the six-yard box to complete a remarkable turnaround.
Despite four minutes of stoppage time, with the home side very much camped in Hednesford’s half, Town would hold on for another crucial three points to see them move to within one of Skrill North leaders North Ferriby United ahead of next Saturday’s clash against Altrincham at Keys Park.
Singh, Pierpoint, Gough, Birley (Knights 86), Nottingham, Elvins, English, Denny, Birch (32), Beswick (72), Taylor (Wint 62)
Subs Not Used:
Blackwood, Langdon, Fleet
Crane, Disney, Campion, McCone, Francis (87), Taylor, Macpherson, Thompson-Brown (Riley 62 (75)), Harvey (82)(Bailey 89), Blissett, Thorley
Subs Not Used:
Osborne, Durrell, Woolfe
Man of the Match: Kris Taylor
Entertainment Rating: 4/5
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Photos by Colin Rogers