Hednesford Town 3–1 Basford United

Two second half goals from Jud Ellis saw Hednesford Town manager Nicky Eaden pick up his first victory since taking charge, at the expense of Basford United.

Eaden handed full debuts to no less than six players after shuffling his pack during the week with seven new arrivals and five departures. The manager was without Nathan Fox, Charlie Gatter and Lewis Archer all through injury though.

Hednesford would make the perfect start to the game when they went in front in the fifth minute as new striker Shane Benjamin swept home from six yards after a long throw from Ben Bailey into the box caused havoc.

The visitors responded straight away though as left-back James Reid broke into the penalty area three minutes later and his shot took a huge deflection over goalkeeper Mate Deczki and into net.

In the 14th minute Ellis cut in from the left and his low effort was saved at the near post by Saul Deeney in the visitor’s goal.

Basford broke quickly in the 32nd minute and a cross into the box just evaded Shaun Harrad as he looked to pounce in front of the Pitmen goal.

Ten minutes later Hednesford saw a good chance come and go when a corner was drilled into the penalty area and Ben Bailey rose highest to head narrowly wide of the upright.

HT: 1-1

It would take Hednesford just four minutes into the second half to regain the lead when Benjamin laid the ball into the path of midfielder Jud Ellis who fired a low shot into the bottom corner from12 yards out.

The hosts would go close again in the 54th minute when a freekick into the Basford box wasn’t cleared and Bailey laid the ball back to Benjamin who fired a shot narrowly wide of the upright.

Hednesford extended their lead in the 64th minute as the ball was laid off once again to Jud Ellis who hit a lovely shot into the top corner of the net from the edge of the box.

Two minutes later Deczki had to come and make a good block from a Harrad shot before claiming the follow-up.

In the 80th minute the ball fell nicely to Basford’s Courey Grantham but his low fizzed effort went wide of the upright.

Hednesford would go close again five minutes from time as the ball was teed up to Jack Hallahan who struck a curling effort wide of the post from 25 yards.

The final minutes of the game saw Hednesford able to play out time, with new striker Kieran Wells running down the clock with some good hold-up play and bustling, as he had done throughout, for the Pitmen to record their first victory of 2019 and complete a league double.

Hednesford Town: Deczki, Melbourne, Lupano, Harvey, Moran, Bailey, Vidal (Hallahan 76), King, Benjamin (Abadaki 90), Wells, Ellis
Subs not used: Dodd, Craddock, Veiga

Basford United: Deeney, Bateman, Reid (Thomas 66), Roma, Carr, Galinski, Nash, Thornhill, Watson (Goodson 66), Harrad, Creaney (Grantham 56)
Sub not used: Preston

Attendance: 289

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