Hednesford Town 1-2 Stourbridge

It was to be late heartbreak for Hednesford Town as a goal in second half stoppage time saw the Pitmen suffer defeat against Stourbridge in the final of the Birmingham Senior Cup.

Although the Glassboys started on the front foot, with two corners in the opening minutes, the Pitmen slowly started to take control of the game with James Fitzgibbon firing a shot well over the bar in the sixth minute after being teed up on the edge of the penalty area.

Callam Mendez-Jones headed a corner wide in the eighth minute before another set piece was cleared away.

Leon Broadhurst did have the ball in the back of the Pitmen net in the 29th minute but his effort was ruled out for offside.

Just two minutes later though Stourbridge would be ahead when a long punt down the middle wasn’t dealt with and as goalkeeper James Wren came to clear the ball, striker Luke Benbow nodded it over him and watched on as it trickled into the unguarded net.

It was a double blow for the Pitmen as defender Sam Oji was forced off, on his return to a ground where he began his career, with the recurrence of an injury.

Right on the stroke of halftime a half chance fell to his fellow defender Ben Bailey but on the stretch, he could only fire an effort over the crossbar when a freekick wasn’t cleared from inside the penalty area.

HT: 1-0

It was obvious that the Pitmen had received somewhat of a rocket at halftime as they started the second half very much on the front foot.

Three minutes into it James Lawrie found some room and after his low effort was saved the ball was played back into Tom Thorley who was clipped from behind in the area, but the officials waved play on, with James Fitzgibbon then seeing his shot blocked behind for a corner.

Anthony Dwyer now also started to get some joy down the right-hand-side and two dangerous crosses were cleared away soon afterwards before Stourbridge goalkeeper Matt Gould got lucky as he spilled a corner before claiming the ball on the rebound in the 56th minute.

Back came Stourbridge and Benbow fed Brad Birch but his effort flashed across the Pitmen goal and away to safety.

In the 73rd minute Benbow perhaps should have added a second goal as he was played in but Wren came out to make a smart block.

This would be crucial as a minute later the Pitmen were level when Thorley played in a delightful ball that was headed home at the far post by Charlie Gatter – much to the delight of the travelling Hednesford fans at that end of the ground.

In the 79th minute Wren had to react quickly again to deny Broadhurst before the midfielder fired an effort well over the crossbar two minutes later.

Just when it looked as if both sides would have to be separated by penalties there was late heartbreak when former Pitmen player Paul McCone won possession a minute into stoppage time and he slid in Benbow with the striker smartly finishing from just inside the penalty area.

Although Hednesford forced a late corner there would be no comeback and with it a chance of ending the season with any silverware.

Hednesford Town: Wren, Mendez-Jones, Campion, Bailey, Oji (Gatter 33), King (Fitzpatrick 71), Dwyer, Thorley, Glover, Lawrie, Fitzgibbon
Subs not used: Rea, Butlin, Veiga

Stourbridge: Gould, Hayden, Christophorou, McCone, Pierpoint, Tonks (Hague 60), Gallagher, Broadhurst, Benbow, Birch, Shearer (Westlake 65).
Subs not used: Cooke, Hall, Hawk.

Attendance: 1,251

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