Hednesford Town 0-1 AFC Fylde

An early goal from AFC Fylde’s Matty Hughes proved to be the difference between the sides at Keys Park, although if it hadn’t been for Ben Hinchliffe in the visiting goal then things may well have been very different.

After suffering FA Trophy disappointment last weekend, Hednesford Town changed things around as they looked to put in a more solid performance against a side pushing for promotion.

It would be the visitors that would start on the front foot though and they almost took the lead in the fifth minute only for Town goalkeeper Dan Crane to deny Dion Charles after the midfielder had burst through.

Fylde didn’t have long to wait though as four minutes later they made the breakthrough when Alex Whittle picked out Hughes and he cut inside before firing low into the bottom corner.

Despite this early set-back Hednesford responded well with Ahmed Obeng unable to get enough on a header at the back post before making half a yard for himself inside the box after 21 minutes, only to see his effort blocked and fall into the arms of Hinchliffe.

After 36 minutes Adam Thomas burst down the left-hand side and after leaving a Fylde defender in his wake he fired his effort over the bar from a tight angle.

Less than 60 seconds later though the visitors could have doubled their lead as Sam Finley saw a shot from 25 yards skim wide of the upright.

Six minutes into the second period Hednesford saw a chance to level the scores come and go when a free-kick was whipped in by Paul Ennis only for Matt Regan to head his effort wide of the near post.

Fylde thought they had doubled their lead in the 54th minute as Charles finished from 12 yards but the offside flag was already raised, while 14 minutes later the visitors had a big chance to see off the home side as a slip in the Town back line let in Whittle but he lifted his effort over Crane and the bar.

Back came the Pitmen and in the 74th minute Thomas surged to the touchline before lifting the ball into the box where Andy Todd was waiting. On the half volley the experienced midfielder fired towards goal only for his effort to be clawed out by Hinchliffe.

Thirteen minutes from time Hednesford thought they had their equaliser as Obeng fired home, only for the goal to be disallowed for offside, after Kyle Perry had seen his header saved.

Perry would soon be denied again when a throw into the box was flicked on by the striker and as the ball looked to be heading towards the net Hinchliffe was able to flick the effort over the bar.

Two minutes from time the goalkeeper could do nothing but watch on though as Town substitute Danico Johnson moved past two Fylde tackles only to fire wide from just inside the box and with that went the home side’s last chance of earning a point.

Hednesford Town: Crane, Disney, Regan, Bailey, T Williams, Digie (Perry 74), S Williams, Thomas, Obeng, Todd, Ennis (Johnson 70)

Subs not used: Dyer, James, Trainer

AFC Fylde: Hinchliffe, Hughes, Crainey, Langley, Roscoe, Baker, Charles, Finley, Rowe, Hughes, Lloyd (Whittle 7 (Collins 78))

Subs not used: Hardy, Kay, Urwin

Half-time 0-1

Full-time 0-1

Attendance: 409

Star Man: Matty Hughes

Entertainment Rating: Three Stars

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