Hednesford Town were denied all three points at The Weaver Stadium on Tuesday night by a seventy-ninth minute Nantwich Town equaliser from Christian Smith as both teams then spurned chances to win the game in a fraught last ten minutes.
The home side wasted a great opportunity to open the scoring on seventeen minutes as a superb through ball by Fraser MacLachlan set Kyle Wilson away, only for the striker to try a cheeky dink which beat the advancing Crane but went wide of the post.
The Pitmen succeeded where Nantwich failed on twenty-eight minutes when an Elliott Durrell free-kick was fired in along the ground and evaded everyone in a crowded goal mouth to find the bottom corner.
Aaron Rey, in for the injured Neil Harvey, narrowly missed a wicked cross from Nathan Woolfe before Nantwich came back at the away side with Sean Cooke hitting the angle of post and bar and Josh Lane seeing a header scrambled off the line just before half time.
Rey skipped beyond Mat Bailey after the defender gave the ball away and hit a left-footed shot narrowly over the bar on fifty minutes before a seminal point in the game came on seventy-five minutes. Bailey failed to clear, Durrell skipped past Jon Brain in the Nantwich goal but could only slice his shot into the net via a deflection off Rey who was standing in a marginally offside position.
Four minutes later lax defending from The Pitmen at a corner allowed Bailey to head on and Smith to nod the ball into the net for the equaliser before a crazy two minute spell saw both sides come within inches of a winner.
Former Nantwich hero, Michael Lennon, scampered away from the defence but saw his shot brilliantly saved at point blank range by Jon Brain and then Nantwich supporters, especially those in the main stand, prematurely celebrated Wilson squeezing his shot beyond Crane only to see John Disney make a heroic goal line clearance.
The scores stayed level despite substitute Sean O’Connor causing late Nantwich defensive headaches but both sides left the mid-October chill frustrated at passing up opportunities to take all three points.
Brain, Moss (Flynn 63), McDonald, Maguire (Hughes 64), Bailey (c), Smith (79), Cooke, McLachlan, Lane (Beesley 78), Wilson, Short
Subs Not Used
Crane, Barnes, Disney, Bailey, Francis, MacPherson (c), Osborne, Durrell (28), Rey (O’Connor 84), Lennon, Woolfe,
Subs Not Used
Bottomer, Melbourne, Allen, Hornby,
Bookings – Smith, McLachlan, Disney, MacPherson, Osborne, Durrell,
Entertainment Rating – 4 Stars
Attendance – 237