Hednesford Town were given a real test at Keys Park on Tuesday night as Midland Football Alliance outfit Tividale’s stout resistance was finally broken in extra time after an astonishing nine goals were scored with The Pitmen facing extremely committed opponents.
Tividale took the lead within four minutes in farcical circumstances as a shot by Kyle Hill came off the post and Francino Francis saw his attempted clearance rebound against the advancing Matthew Jukes and fly past Sam Hornby into the corner.
Darren Campion was worryingly stretchered off just after the break with a nasty looking ankle injury, making the impressive left-back a major doubt for Saturday’s FA Cup match versus Buxton.
The Pitmen recovered from their injury setback and substitute Nathan Woolfe was unplayable for a fifteen minute spell as he headed in the equaliser on fifty-two minutes, hit the post with a free-kick and then swept in his second on sixty-five minutes.
Tividale were level within sixty seconds though as Ben Bailey let the ball under his foot and Matthew Jukes calmly saw off the attention of Francis and rounded Hornby.
The away side threatened and Hornby made a superb full-stretch save from Hill before Bailey atoned for his earlier error to power in a header from a Woolfe corner on seventy-nine minutes.
Back came Tividale as Andrew Parson’s made it 3-3 with ten minutes remaining but the West Midlands team ran out of steam in extra time. Bailey and Michael Lennon ensured the game was safe for the Pitmen before a cross from Hill evaded everyone and found the corner to finish an amazing glut of goals that may have entertained the crowd but will have given Hednesford boss, Rob Smith, plenty of food for thought.
Hornby, Recci, Campion (c) (MacPherson 47), Bailey (79,97), Francis, Watkis, Osborne, Melbourne (Woolfe 52,65), O’Connor (Harvey 115) , Lennon (102), Taylor
Subs Not Used
Beech, Edwards (Weller 90), Chilton, Parsons, Hill, Jephcott, Hill, Taylor (c), Russell, Jukes, Cooper (Lewis 78),
Subs Not Used
Blackham, Falconer, Evans
Bookings – Osborne
Star Man – Nathan Woolfe
Entertainment Rating – 5 Stars
Attendance – 92