Hednesford Town 2-0 Bedworth United

Hednesford Town were made to work hard by a side one division below them before eventually progressing into the next round of the FA Cup.

The Pitmen always knew that it would be a tricky test coming up against a side from a lower division, having suffered losses in the early stages of the cup on numerous occasions over the last decade.

As such it was a cagey start to the game from both sides, with Bedworth having the first half chance when Luke Rowe fired a free-kick from 20 yards out over the bar in the 11th minute.

This kicked Hednesford into life somewhat and in the 15th minute, following some good interplay, Tom Thorley played Andy Todd into space but his left-footed drive was saved by Denham Hinds in the United goal. From the resulting play Matt Regan saw his follow-up effort blocked before midfielder Sean Williams eventually fired over the bar from the edge of the box.

Back came the visitors and Hednesford had an escape after 24 minutes when Ben Bailey cleared Alex Naughton’s looping header off the line after Dave Parton had punched the first cross clear.

As the half progressed there was little in terms of goalmouth action, with Sean Williams seeing an effort easily claimed by Hinds before Paul Ennis’ deflected shot again failed to trouble the keeper, leaving the teams level at the break.

The Pitmen started the second half very much on the front foot and should have gone ahead in the 49th minute as the hard-working Todd picked out Tom Thorley at the back post, but he fired wide.

There really was very little in the game as the half progressed, although another good chance for Hednesford came and went in the 69th minute as defender Regan went up for a set piece, only to head an Ennis free kick over the bar after beating Hinds to the cross.

The breakthrough, much to the relief of all Hednesford supporters, would arrive two minutes later though. A dangerous corner from Ennis was flicked on by Tyrone Williams to Todd, who dived to head home at the back post.

Bedworth almost equalised straight away when a corner was cleared and the visitors were awarded a free kick 20 yards out, but Naughton curled it well over the bar.

Eight minutes from time the Pitmen finally put the tie to bed and ensured progress into the third qualifying round after Todd worked hard down the right-hand side and his cross picked out Thorley who fired home into the opposite corner of the net to make it 2-0.

Hednesford Town: Parton, Disney, Regan, Bailey, T Williams, Trainer, S Williams (Digie 60), Thorley, Perry (Obeng 62), Ennis (Modest 85), Todd

Subs not used: Robinson, Patterson, James, Ransome

Bedworth United: Hinds, Tullin, Rowe, Westwood (Albrighton 78), Cartwright, Haines, Degville-Cross (Creaney 46), Walters, Wint (Blenkinsopp 83), Naughton, Wesley

Subs not used: Walker-Donovan, Bryce

Attendance 445

Star Man Andy Todd

Entertainment Rating Two Stars

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