Scarborough Athletic 5-3 Hednesford Town

Hednesford Town would come out on the wrong side of an end-to-end encounter as they lost out to Scarborough Athletic on their first ever visit to the Flamingo Land Stadium.

The Pitmen handed debuts to goalkeeper Mate Deczki, following his arrival from Stoke City, and midfielder Alex-Ray Harvey, who had joined from Guiseley earlier in the week.

It was Hednesford who almost went ahead in the 14th minute when a long throw from Isaac Cooper caused problems and Andre Johnson saw a hooked effort strike the post before being cleared to safety.

This would prove to be crucial as four minutes later the hosts would take the lead when Michael Coulson’s effort took a wicked defection off Charlie Gatter and looped up over Deczki and into the net.

Despite this early blow the game continued to have an even feel about it, with the Pitmen almost finding a way back into the game midway through the first half as Matt Dodd’s low cross was deflected towards goal with Thomas Taylor having to make a smart block in the home goal.

But Scarborough would double their lead in the 40th minute when a corner from the right picked out James Walshaw with the striker able to guide a free header into the net from six yards.

Three minutes later the Pitmen were almost back in it when a Cooper cross into the hosts’ box caused problems and Ben Bailey’s effort was cleared off the line by Nathan Valentine.

This would prove to be crucial as right on the stroke of halftime the hosts added a third. Although the Pitmen’s Osebi Abadaki was down with a head injury the referee waved play on with a quick Scarborough break finished well by Ryan Watson.

HT: 3-0

Hednesford pulled a goal back in the 55th minute when some good play saw Dodd pick out Reece King with the midfielder able to guide the ball into the bottom corner at the far post.

The Pitmen almost pulled another goal back as Alex Melbourne went close before the home side added a fourth when the ball was worked to Watson well in the 65th with the midfielder finishing via the crossbar to make it 4-1.

In the 73rd minute Hednesford reduced the arrears again as Melbourne picked out Lewis Archer and the striker finished with a smart header into the top corner to give his side some hope of a comeback.

It took the hosts less than 60 seconds to regain their three-goal lead though as Luke Lofts finished from ten yards out after Deczki had saved the first effort on goal.

Hednesford added a late consolation goal in the third minute of stoppage time when Dodd rose highest in the box to head into the top corner from six yards out.

Scarborough Athletic: Taylor, Johnson, Lacey, Dixon (McGuire 74), Burgess, Killock, Valentine, Watson (Bowman 90), Walshaw, Coulson, Lofts
Subs not used: Morgan, Morris, Walmsley

Hednesford Town: Deczki, Melbourne, Cooper (Logan 74), Harvey, Gatter, Bailey, Dodd, King, Johnson (Hallahan 46), Archer, Abadaki
Subs not used: Misambo, Cockerline, Veiga

Attendance: 959

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