Brackley Town 1–1 Hednesford Town

Hednesford Town had to settle for a point against Brackley Town from a game that saw them dominate in the second period whilst failing to find that second goal that could have handed them all three points.

Playing with a 4-5-1 formation with Phil Trainer having come into the side for Ahmed Obeng, the Pitmen had plenty of possession in the opening exchanges but almost fell behind in the eighth minute as Greg Kaziboni found room behind the Hednesford back line but he fired wide from just inside the box.

The Pitmen had another let-off after 19 minutes when Steve Diggin broke clear and was able to find striker Sam Smith who saw his effort cleared superbly off the line by John Disney.

It would be a temporary reprieve though as sixty seconds later the home side scored when former Hednesford man Diggin headed home into the far corner of the net after being picked out by Jack Truelove.

Hednesford responded well though and were level in the 32nd minute as Matt Regan stole possession down the left and after breaking forward, he managed to pick out Kyle Perry who fired low into the net from 12 yards out.

Soon afterwards Sean Williams fired well wide of the upright before Curtis McDonald headed a corner wide of the near post after 42 minutes to see the sides go in level at the break.

The visitors started the second period on the front foot as they looked to use the slope to their advantage. Six minutes into the half Ben Bailey strode forward from the back and after he was brought down Tom Thorley fired just past the upright from the resulting free-kick.

There was a close call in the 57th minute for Hednesford as a free-kick whipped into the box was flicked on by Bailey just wide of his own goal.

Back came Bernard McNally’s side and Perry had half a chance to double his total on 65 minutes when Sean Williams found the big striker but he fired a hard chance from 12 yards over the bar.

Hednesford continued on the front foot and ten minutes later after good interplay Thorley made his way into the box and the midfielder tried to pick out Perry but the ball was snuffed out before it found him.

The home side were now pinned well back and Regan once again broke forward in the 80th minute only to see his deflected shot palmed wide by former Town keeper Dan Crane. From the resulting corner the ball fell to Sean Williams on the edge of the box with his driven effort superbly turned away by Crane.

In a rare foray forward the home side had half a chance to win it in the 86th minute only for Ryan Austin to head wide at the back post.

The one final chance arrived for the Pitmen in the third minute of stoppage time as they were awarded a free-kick 25 yards out. The lively Paul Ennis stepped up to take it and just as it looked destined for the top corner of the net McDonald appeared from nowhere to head behind for a corner.

In the end though Hednesford had to settle for a point from the game with their attentions now turning towards next weekend’s FA Cup tie with Bedworth United at Keys Park.

Brackley Town: Crane, Samuels, Truelove (Morley 83), McDonald, Mills, Austin, Kaziboni (Winters 72), Walker, Smith, Diggin, Moyo

Subs not used: Graham, Story, Farrell

Hednesford Town: Parton, Disney, Regan (Obeng 87), Bailey, T Williams, Trainer, S Williams, Thorley, Perry, Todd (James 75), Digie (Ennis 61)

Subs not used: Robinson, Modest

Attendance: 356

Star Man: Andy Todd

Entertainment Rating: Three Stars

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