Hednesford Town 0–3 FC United of Manchester

Goals early on in each half, as well as another four minutes from time, earned FC United of Manchester a comfortable victory against Hednesford Town.

Following the departure of manager Rob Smith during the week, the Pitmen made the worst possible start as they fell behind after just seven minutes. When Craig Lindfield picked the ball up and cut inside from the left wing there seemed little on, but his curling effort beat Dave Parton and flew into the top corner of the net from fully 30 yards.

It took Hednesford some time to respond but after Tom Thorley saw his free kick curl just over the bar in the 21st minute, striker Marvin Robinson then headed over two minutes later after being picked out by Andy Todd.

Another chance came the home side’s way in the 26th minute when Robinson nodded the ball down to young midfielder Kennedy Digie, but his effort was easily saved by United keeper David Carnell.

At the other end, although FC won a number of set pieces, they failed to really trouble Parton and the Town back line any further.

The biggest chance for the home side came two minutes before the break when striker Ahmed Obeng raced clear, but he poked his effort over the bar from just inside the box.

Hednesford made a change at half-time as they looked for Todd, who had been a constant presence in attack during the first period, to move further forward with Tom James coming on for Robinson as the Pitmen looked for an equaliser.

Their plans suffered a blow though as just after sixty seconds into the second period a corner picked out the big United defender Nia Bayunu, who headed home from 12 yards out to double his side’s lead.

The away side almost added a third in the 59th minute as they saw an effort cleared off the line by Tom Thorley, before Luke Ashworth blazed the follow-up effort well wide.

Hednesford tried in vain to find a way back into the game but their afternoon was summed up midway through the half as Obeng managed to get in behind the defence and his cross found Paul Ennis, but his first effort was blocked and his second shot was a scuffed one which was easily saved.

It was instead FC who added to their lead in the 85th minute as an exquisite chip from Sean Cooke on the edge of the box beat Parton via the bar and post, before ending up in the back of the net.

Hednesford continued to search for a consolation goal and should really have been awarded a penalty in stoppage time as an FC defender cleared the ball away from Kyle Perry with his arm, but the officials failed to spot the infringement.

The Pitmen have a chance to quickly put this result behind them when they travel to Aggborough to face Worcester City on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon.

Hednesford Town: Parton, Williams T, Todd, Bailey, Tilt, Thorley, Williams S, Modest (Perry 72), Robinson (James 46), Obeng, Digie (Ennis 53)

Subs not used: Adams, Spencer

FC United of Manchester: Carnell, Birch, Brownhill, Stott (Thurston 61), Bayunu, Ashworth, Wolfenden, Fallon, Greaves (Daniels 73), Cooke, Lindfield (Madeley 58)

Subs not used: Murray, Norton

Attendance: 927

Entertainment Rating: Three Stars

Star Man: Andy Todd

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