Hednesford Town 2 – 0 AFC Fylde

When looking back at the end of the season, the evening of Tuesday 3 March could well be seen as a pivotal one for Rob Smith’s side as they picked up an excellent three points against a second-placed AFC Fylde side and also saw their play-off chasing opponents slip up on the same evening.

Following yet another three point haul for the Pitmen, the seventh such success out of their last eight league games, Smith’s side were able to leapfrog Tamworth back into third place in the Conference North table.

Although Town started on the front foot it was the visitors who had the first chance when Josh Wilson was teed up by Danny Lloyd-McGoldrick and his effort flashed wide of the upright.

Hednesford’s first half-chance arrived in the seventh minute when, following a throw into the box, the ball fell to Adam Thomas who struck a first time effort which just flew over the bar.

Back came the visitors and Dan Crane was called into action twice in the Town goal in a matter of minutes when he first denied Matty Blinkhorn, before then claiming a dangerous Adam Sumner free kick.

Ten minutes before the break Fylde almost went ahead when, following a Town break, the visitors created a chance of their own only to see Richie Allen’s effort dribble just wide of the post as everyone watched on.

Into the second period and Hednesford came out with a renewed vigour, creating the first chance in the 48th minute as Marvin Robinson held onto possession well before seeing his shot half-saved by Ben Hinchliffe before being fully cleared by Sumner.

Six minutes later the big front-man got on the end of an excellent Glenn Walker cross, only to head over the bar from six yards out.

It would be the home side that would eventually break the deadlock in the 71st minute when, following another dangerous corner, James Hurst saw his first effort blocked before making sure with his second to open the scoring.

The Coasters almost had an immediate response, only to see Allen shoot just wide of the goal when the ball fell to him inside the box.

That miss would be crucial, as in the 77th minute Town made it 2-0. A long throw from Ben Bailey was flicked on at the near post by Richard Batchelor, with the ball eventually finding the back of the net, much to the delight of the midfielder.

This really knocked the stuffing out of Fylde and after a couple of excellent blocks from Hurst and Crane as the game edged into stoppage time, the Pitmen played out time in a comfortable matter.

Hednesford will be looking to build on this result on Saturday when Boston United visit Keys Park, 3.00pm kick-off.

Hednesford Town: Crane, Hurst, Walker, Bailey, Campion, Thorley, Osborne, Todd, Robinson (Diggin 85), Thomas (Kerry 80), Batchelor

Subs not used: Rushton, Strain

AFC Fylde: Hinchliffe, Denson, Sumner, Langley, Hannigan (Hughes 26), Barnes, Booth (Hamilton 77), Wilson (Tomsett 77), Blinkhorn, Lloyd-McGoldrick, Allen

Subs not used: Rowe, Dion

Attendance: 416

Star Man: Tom Thorley

Entertainment Rating: Four Stars

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