The Pitmen’s “Jekyll and Hyde” season continued as they failed to break down ten man Lancaster City …
Keys Park was in an optimistic mood for the second home game in four days, following Saturday’s morale boosting win against high-flying South Shields. It was a mixture of the visitors’ determined defending and a failure to make superior possession count in the final third of the field that would prove to be the Pitmen’s undoing.
The game started brightly enough with a handful of chances in the opening stages falling to the Pitmen. Dan Cockerline’s attempted chip drifted wide before the lively Dan Sweeney saw his effort go just the wrong side of the same post. A free kick from Joe Fitzpatrick caused confusion in the visitors’ area with goalkeeper Sims preventing an own goal.
As the game descended into a rather scrappy affair, a clumsy challenge on the left of the Hednesford area saw Rob Wilson step up and fire a sweetly struck shot past Sheridon Martinez into the top right corner of the net to give the visitors an unlikely lead in the 27th minute.
Sam Griffiths hit the post from a corner as the home side looked to get back into the game before half time.
The second half saw Edge and Archer coming on for King and Cockerline, while Lancaster also made a change with McLean replacing Blinkhorn. The substitution almost paid immediate dividends for Hednesford with Archer squaring a ball for Sweeney who was unable to finish after appearing to stumble. A series of corners followed as the home side mounted pressure on the Lancaster defence.
The visitors were reduced to ten men in the 58th minute when Stanley hacked the advancing Lewis Archer down from behind when he was through on goal. Charley Edge drilled the resulting free kick into the wall.
With thirty minutes left to play, Lancaster set themselves up with ten men behind the ball, playing with a quick tempo to close down the home side. Despite maintaining possession for long periods Hednesford were not able to create many chances and were forced into playing sideways passes in an attempt to get past the visiting defence.
In the closing stages, Lancaster continued to frustrate the home side with Stefan Galinski, now playing in an advanced position, going close with a header from a corner, while a sharp turn and shot in the area from Edge was just inches wide of the post. Despite four minutes of added time, the visitors were able to hold on and claim all three points on a disappointing evening at Keys Park.
Hednesford Town: Martinez, Curley (Mendez-Jones 58), Fox, Fitzpatrick, Galinski, Griffiths, King (Edge 46), Coyle, Cockerline (Archer 46), Sweeney, Howard.
Subs not used: Hollis, Veiga
Lancaster City: Sims, Fensome, Dugdale, Wills, Hudson, Stanley, Winder, Russell, Blinkhorn (McLean 46), Wilson (Gorji 82), Kilifin.
Subs not used: Muir, Stone