Tamworth 1-0 Hednesford Town

A solitary first half goal for the home side would be enough to earn Tamworth all three points against Hednesford Town as the long league winless run against their Staffordshire rivals continued.

Bernard McNally made three changes to his starting line-up, with former Lambs duo Tom James and Kyle Perry being recalled while Ahmed Obeng was available once again.

It was the lively striker who would have the first half-chance of the game as the ball fell to him on the edge of the box, but he dragged his effort well wide inside the opening minute.

For the next 15 minutes the home side would start to really take control of proceedings with former Pitmen player Elliott Durrell seeing a snapshot blocked before the midfielder whipped in a dangerous free-kick which forced Dan Crane to make a smart save following Dan Preston’s flick-on.

The goalkeeper was in action seconds later when, from the resulting corner, Danny Newton was left with a free header which Crane was forced to save smartly at his far post.

Crane would deny the striker again in the 23rd minute as he got in down the left-hand side, but his low curling effort was claimed by the shot stopper.

Hednesford saw another half chance come and go four minutes later when James drove forward and with his wrong foot ‘whistled’ a shot wide of the upright.

Just as the Pitmen were working their way back into the game, Tamworth opened the scoring in the 31st minute. A long ball over the Town back line was pounced upon by Newton and the striker was able to finish past Crane from just inside the box.

Five minutes later Durrell burst through two tackles but curled his effort wide of the goal while right on the stroke of half-time Hednesford appealed for a penalty as Belshaw clearly pushed Trainer over in the penalty area, but the officials decided it was unintentional and awarded a goal-kick.

Hednesford knew that it would have to be a better second half performance if they were to take anything from the game and they started on the front foot with Sean Williams blazing an effort over the bar in the 49th minute.

Ten minutes later the same player fired a 25 yard free-kick over the bar as the Pitmen started to control proceedings.

Tamworth’s only real chance of the second half arrived in the 63rd minute when Crane reacted quickly to deny Newton a clear shot on goal.

The Pitmen would have the ball in the back of the net after 76 minutes when Williams’ free-kick found Phil Trainer at the back post but his looping effort was ruled out for offside.

The turning point almost arrived a minute later when substitute Danico Johnson worked himself half a yard of room inside the Tamworth box and his shot across Belshaw struck the inside of the post and bounced away to safety.

Although Hednesford forced a number of corners and free-kicks in the closing stages, Belshaw wouldn’t be tested and in the end the single goal would prove to be enough for the home side to claim all three points.

Tamworth: Belshaw, Burns, Warlow, Racchi, Tomassen, Preston, Durrell (Dyer 71), Clarke (Roberts 74), Newton, Mettam (Morrell 84), Green

Subs not used: Strong, Davies

Hednesford Town: Crane, T Williams, James, Bailey, Regan, Trainer, S Williams, Obeng (Modest 86), Perry (Johnson 71), Thomas, Todd (Ennis 79)

Subs not used: Digie, Disney

Attendance: 871

Star Man: Tom James

Entertainment Rating: Two Stars

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