Hednesford Town 1-1 Barrow AFC

Hednesford Town were able to pick up a deserved point against league leaders Barrow, in what was an exciting affair for supporters and neutrals alike at Keys Park.

Rob Smith’s side were more than worthy of the scoreline and had it been for a bit more luck in front of goal then the Pitmen could have taken all three points.

Despite being played on a somewhat sticky pitch, following a prolonged spell of heavy rain in the build-up to the fixture, both sides tried to attack from the outset.

In the fifth minute Hednesford’s Darren Campion saw a cross-cum-shot easily saved by Tony McMillian, before the goalkeeper had to react quickly to a short back-header with Steve Diggin lurking.

Meanwhile at the other end Andy Cook should really have scored from six yards out in the 12th minute, but he headed over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

In a lively opening 20 minutes Town’s Glenn Walker went close to opening the scoring in the 17th minute as he cut inside and fizzed an effort over the bar with his right foot.

Just after the half hour mark Richard Batchelor stung the palms of McMillian whilst in the 38th minute Andy Burns was left prone following a late challenge by Jamey Osborne. The midfielder was cautioned, adding to the four other players receiving yellow cards in a feisty first half.

Five minutes into the second period the away side took the lead when Hednesford failed to clear their lines and Jason Walker nipped in to prod home.

Town didn’t let this deter them and came back at the visitors hard, with Walker and Batchelor both seeing goalbound efforts scrambled away from inside the Barrow area.

Hednesford goalkeeper Dan Crane still had to stay sharp at the other end though, having to make a fine save from Barrow’s Johnny Gorman in the 58th minute.

Hednesford continued to press and got their equaliser three minutes later. A lovely cushioned header fell into the path of Steve Diggin and after his first time shot rattled the crossbar Danny Glover was on hand to loop his header into the net.

The home side were now on top and they almost completed the turnaround in the 64th minute as, following another scramble in the box, Glover saw his effort strike the crossbar and away to safety.

In the 79th minute Osborne found room inside the penalty area but after he was found by James Hurst his free header didn’t test McMillan.

At the other end Barrow’s Paddy Lacey whistled a shot just wide of the upright with seven minutes to go as both teams attacked to the last minute.

Despite some late pressure neither side could force a winner though, with both sets of supporters going home happy with a point apiece.

Hednesford Town: Crane, Hurst, Campion, Bailey, Francis, Thorley, Osborne, Walker, Glover, Diggin (Robinson 86), Batchelor

Subs not used:
Sullivan, Melbourne, Westwood, Love

Barrow AFC: McMillan, Burns, McWilliams, Lacey, Livesey, Grand, Reid (Cribley 84), Harvey, Walker (Cowperthwaite 75), Cook, Gorman (Wilson 64)

Subs not used:
Ellison, Pilkington

Attendance: 615
Star Man: Danny Glover
Entertainment Rating: 4/5

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