Despite many of the eyes in the crowd at Keys Park last night trained on the exiled Wolverhampton Wanderers ‘Bomb Squad’, it was Pitmen striker Steve Diggin who showcased his talents the clearest as the recent signing from Brackley Town scored the decisive goal 11 minutes into the game with an exquisite chip.
Diggin, beginning to find fitness and form in a Hednesford shirt, broke down the right wing and gloriously finished over the flummoxed Jon Flatt in the Wolves goal and the striker could have doubled his team’s advantage just two minutes later.
Tongo Doumbia felled Diggin in the area but he hit a weak penalty which Flatt easily saved to his left.
To Hednesford’s credit the home side battled for every ball and despite Jamie O’Hara, playing his first game since tabloid allegations about his private life were publicised and Doumbia, at times, showing real class on the ball, it was The Pitmen who created the better chances in a lively first half.
Jamey Osborne skipped past the attentions of O’Hara and shot narrowly over before Alex Melbourne won the ball strongly in midfield and set Marvin Robinson galloping away but the striker’s shot was straight at Flatt.
Doumbia escaped the shackles of the imperious Francino Francis momentarily with a blistering change of pace and when he was shoved to the ground, the resulting free kick set up Jim Kellermann to lash Wolves’s best chance wildly over the bar on 30 minutes.
The impressive Jamie Ashmore forced Flatt into an acrobatic save from his misjudged cross and shortly afterwards Robinson headed straight at the keeper after Ben Bailey’s prowess with a long throw looked to have surprised the Wolves defence.
Flatt made the save of the match as Ashmore and Glenn Walker linked up well on the right and Robinson flicked the cross towards the far corner only for the well-worked keeper to stick out a leg and divert the ball from goal.
Hednesford’s hitherto inspired defensive display was almost undone on the stroke of half time as Reid headed wide when very well placed, but as the teams returned to the dressing rooms at half time it was the Pitmen faithful loudly applauding their players.
In the early part of the second half Doumbia continued to look a threat for the away side but as the game slowed due to numerous substitutions it was Hednesford who looked most likely to score with Paul Sullivan and Danny Glover both coming close.
Wolves piled on the pressure towards the end of the game but The Pitmen held on to record a satisfying win against their Black Country rivals as they prepare to welcome a West Bromwich Albion XI to Keys Park this Saturday.
Crane, Ashmore (Griffiths 69), Campion ©, McCone, Francis, Bailey, Osborne (Markall 73), Melbourne, Robinson (Glover 46), Diggin (11) (Sullivan 56), Walker (Taylor 50)
Wolverhampton Wanderers Under 21s
Flatt, Rainey, Carter (Breslin 75), O’Hara, Margreitter, Gorman, Kellermann (Ortega 56), Doumbia, Reid, Doyle, Erdei (Hunte 60)
Subs Not Used – Burgoyne, Upton, Matinyadze
Bookings – Kellermann
Entertainment Rating – 3 Stars
Star Man – Steve Diggin
Attendance – 568