Hednesford Town 2-1 Rugby Town

Hednesford Town continued their unbeaten start to pre-season against a determined Rugby Town outfit.

The Pitmen handed a debut to striker Dan Cockerline after the Southport front-man put pen to paper on a six-month loan deal earlier in the day.

It was Rugby who started the better of the two sides and they should really have been ahead inside 60 seconds when the ball was given away with Danico Johnson being played in but his effort was saved by James Wren in the Hednesford goal.

Hednesford were nearly made to pay again in the 12th minute as Johnson played in Charlie Evans but the midfielder could only find the side netting with his effort.

The first real chance for the home side came in the 30th minute when some good play down the right saw a cross pick out Cockerline but he volleyed wide.

This would be the only meaningful action of the half as both sides went in level at the break.

HT: 0-0

The start of the second half would see another chance come the way of Rugby but Lee Thomas fired his effort wide of the goal from 20 yards out.

It would be Hednesford that would take the lead though when a nice move down the right saw a good ball into the box picked out Dan Cockerline who caressed a header into the roof of the net in the 55th minute.

Two minutes later Callam Mendez-Jones was forced into a smart tackle inside the penalty area as Rugby drove forward for an immediate reply.

Hednesford would double their lead on the hour mark though when a long throw into the penalty area saw Reece King beat the goalkeeper in the air to head home.

The visitors would be back in it on the 66th minute as a mix-up in the Hednesford backline saw the ball cleared against Johnson and the striker was left with the simple chance of tapping it home into an unguarded net.

A flurry of substitutes followed from both sides but there were still chances at both ends and Rugby perhaps should have ended the game with a draw only for Wren to deny them in the 89th minute with a stunning late save.

Hednesford Town: Wren, Curley, Fox, Fitzpatrick, Galinski, Gatter, Trialist A, King, Cockerline, Hollis, Trialist B.
Subs: Griffiths, Mendez-Jones, Trialist C, Davies, Craddock, Hill, Trialist D, Trialist E, Veiga

Rugby Town: Hill, Rosser, Trialist, Edwards, Recci, Thomas, Blyth, Evans, Rankin, Johnson, Tulluck.
Subs: Marsden Lockley

Attendance: 181

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