Hednesford Town 0–1 Witton Albion

Hednesford Town fell to their fourth league defeat on the bounce after a second half penalty from Witton Albion’s James Foley saw the visitors take home all three points.

The Pitmen were able to include defender Ben Bailey in their line-up for the first time since he returned last week after gaining international clearance – the centre-half was immediately made skipper.

It was the hosts who started the game on top with left-back Nathan Fox stinging the palms of Witton goalkeeper Greg Hall in the seventh minute after a corner had been played short and the full-back had let fly from 18 yards.

In the 15th minute Witton had their first chance but Jordan Cobley dragged his effort well wide of the goal when the ball fell kindly to him inside the penalty area.

Tom Owens would fail to test Josef Bursik in the Pitmen goal when well placed five minutes later before Charlie Gatter just failed to connect with a freekick when well placed at the other end.

The best football of the half came in the 40th minute when Hednesford’s Jed Davies played the ball into Dan Cockerline but the striker saw his low effort smartly saved by Hall.

HT: 0-0

Hednesford began on the front foot in the second period as well – albeit the set pieces ultimately led to nothing.

The visitors almost edged ahead in the 58th minute, only for Bursik to make a good block in the Pitmen goal after the ball had fallen to Will Jones six yards out.

Three minutes later the Pitmen saw another chance come and go as a long Bailey throw caused confusion but Reece King was unable to get his shot away when well placed.

In the 63rd minute a dangerous freekick from Davies saw Cockerline get his head to the ball but the effort was easily claimed on the line by Hall.

The decisive moment would arrive in the 69th minute when Witton were awarded a penalty following a clumsy foul by Davies. Foley confidently stepped up to slam his spot kick into the bottom corner from 12 yards.

The visitors almost sealed the points ten minutes from time but Rob Hopley hit the upright when the ball fell kindly to him inside the penalty area.

Although Hednesford had plenty of the ball they could create little in the way of clear cut chances, the closest they would come was when Hall almost turned the ball into his own net under pressure from Cockerline in the 87th minute.

Hednesford now prepare to make the long trip to Humberside to take on North Ferriby United on Boxing Day – which you can travel to for free on the Hednesford Town Independent Travel Club bus (see later news item).

Hednesford Town: Bursik, Dawes, Fox, Bailey, Gatter, King, Dodd (Howard 80), Davies, Cockerline, Abadaki (Martin 85), Logan (Archer 65)
Subs not used: Hallahan, Shaw

Witton Albion: Hall, Gardener, Devine, Wardle, Humphreys, Lussey, Smart, Owens, Hopley, Cobley (Jones 54), Foley
Subs not used: Lingouba, Booth, Yates, Wilson

Attendance: 303

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