Hednesford Town fell to a rare defeat on a bitterly cold afternoon in Nottinghamshire as an in-form Worksop Town side battled well in midfield and scored the only goal of the game through a disputed penalty in the second half.
The major incident in a very competitive match came on fifty-five minutes when Jamie Jackson advanced into the left of the penalty area and clashed with Hednesford left-back Darren Campion. The Pitmen captain looked to have pulled his leg away from the challenge and the referee didn’t give a penalty kick until his linesman signalled that a foul had been committed.
The away sides’ players were vociferous in their complaints but their protests were to no avail as Mark Hudson coolly sent Dan Crane the wrong way and converted the penalty kick.
Worksop, coming into the game following an FA Trophy victory over Conference side Tamworth last weekend, refreshingly attacked The Pitmen and possessed the confidence to take the game to the joint league leaders.
The midfield battle was an epic one as Jamey Osborne put his foot into the tackle on a regular basis but was also on the receiving end of a number of heavy challenges. The aggressive under current bubbled throughout a crackling first half as the home side edged the game in terms of possession with Jackson lively in attack.
The penalty incident on fifty-five minutes meant The Pitmen had to chase the game in search of an equaliser but their usual creative hub, Chris Clements, struggled to find space in a congested midfield. Rob Smith’s men defended well in the face of concerted pressure as Pedro Monteiro and Cheyenne Dunkley repelled regular Worksop attacks.
Luke Shiels headed wide from an in-swinging corner and really should have scored before Smith and Larry Chambers introduced youngsters Lewis Suckling and Andre Langdell and midfielder Ben Jevons to continue their chase for an equaliser.
As Worksop tired towards the last fifteen minutes Jevons saw his header from six yards out somehow superbly saved by Jon Worsnop as The Pitmen travelling supporters held their heads in their hands. Another header from Jevons set up Langdell who shot just wide across the goal keeper and a smooth run by Osborne ended with a shot the wrong side of the post.
Hednesford now have a Birmingham Senior Cup Quarter Final against West Bromwich Albion to look forward to on Tuesday 20th December at Keys Park before a local derby double header over the Christmas period which will no doubt be hugely anticipated by their supporters. Chasetown making the short five mile trip on Boxing Day and then Hednesford travel to old foes Stafford Rangers, who will no doubt be looking to avenge their famous 5-4 defeat earlier in the season, on January 2nd 2012.
Worsnop, Gardner, Wood, Young (Roberts 85), Shiels, Cotterill ©, Burbeary (King 77), Hudson (Pen 55), Jackson, Sharry, Warlow (McDonald 71),
Subs Not Used
Crane, Bailey, Campion ©, Dunkley, Monteiro, Denny (Jeavons 81), Osborne, Clements, Danks (Landell 71), Hay, Durrell (Suckling 71),
Subs Not Used
Bookings – Cotterill, Wood, Campion
Entertainment Rating – 3 Stars
Star Man – Ben Bailey
Attendance – 270