Hednesford Town 1-0 Hyde United

Hednesford secure an important win against Hyde United with a battling team performance at Keys Park ….

This re-arranged fixture started at a frenetic pace, with arguably the visitors having the better of the opening exchanges. In the eighth minute and slightly against the run of play Kieran Wells out-muscled his marker and fired past Peter Crook in the Hyde goal to give the Pitmen an early lead.

Moments later Javan Vidal went close to doubling the home side’s advantage making a purposeful run into the Hyde area only to see his shot deflected behind. The Pitmen continued to threaten with strong running from Wells forcing Crook out of his area to make a last ditch challenge. Crook was having a busy night making an excellent save from Nathan Fox whose shot from the left was heading towards the top corner of the net.

A series of corners and a free kick from Alex-Ray Harvey followed as the Pitmen dominated the first half, with the crossbar preventing any addition to the score. Oladapo Olarewaju missed the visitors’ only clear chance of the half when he planted a free header over the crossbar.

HT: 1-0

The Pitmen’s hunt for a second goal continued early in the second half with two long throws from Ben Bailey in quick succession causing problems in the visitors’ area. On both occasions Reece King was first to the ball sending one header just over the bar and forcing another good reaction save from Crook.

King’s aerial threat seemed to be the likely source of a goal with Courey Grantham just unable to finish a flick on from a corner. Crook was forced to come out of his area for a second time, beating Wells to an excellent pass out of defence from the influential Daniel Racchi, making his home debut for the Pitmen.

Although the game retained its level of intensity, it descended into a rather scrappy affair during the closing twenty minutes.  Hyde pressed for an equaliser and despite an increased share of possession only really had a couple of half chances to show for their efforts; Paddy Lane firing over from an offside position while Olarewaju’s long range effort was comfortably saved by Kieran Preston.

The Pitmen generally worked the ball well in the closing minutes with substitute Shane Benjamin intelligently using the corners to run down the clock. Grantham had the chance to put the game to bed late on, shooting wide after a good quality lay off from Harvey. The Pitmen were able to hold on during the five minutes of added on time to cap off an excellent team performance with three well deserved points.

Hednesford Town: Preston, Vidal (Melbourne 34), Fox, Harvey, Moran, Bailey ©, Racchi, King, Wells (Benjamin 75), Hallahan, Grantham.
Subs not used: Archer, Gatter, Veiga

Hyde United: Crook, Smalley, Brownhill (McConville 65), Daly, McCombe, Fagbola ©, Olarewaju, Lipka, Pratt, Platt (O’Connor 67), Lane.
Subs not used: Haydock, Addai, Longato

Attendance: 273 (and a dog!)

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