Two superbly struck free kicks from Hednesford Town’s Danny Glover helped The Pitmen get off the mark in the league following an excellent 3-2 victory over Harrogate Town. Sandwiched in-between there was a stunning strike from Jamey Osborne as well as a fightback from the visitors, making it an entertaining afternoon for all those inside Keys Park, writes Scott Smith
Hednesford were certainly quickest out of the blocks as they looked for their first victory of the new season and the opening minute saw Glenn Walker almost fed by Glover but the ball whipped across was just out of range and eventually went out for a corner.
The home side were really dominating the opening exchanges and had a couple of quick fire chances in the space of a few seconds in the 14th minute as first Paul McCone saw his shot saved by Phil Barnes before Walker’s header was pushed away to safety.
Hednesford were in once again in the 20th minute as the lively Alex Melbourne got down the right and after getting to the byeline his pull-back found Walker who saw his fierce shot blocked away.
Despite all their chances The Pitmen still had to be careful at the other end though and goalkeeper Dan Crane kept them in it following a smart save from James Walshaw’s downward header in the 27th minute.
Just when it looked as if the sides would go in level at the break, Jamey Osborne broke forward in the dying embers of the first period and won a free kick 25 yards out. Up stepped Glover to curl home the dead ball via the underside of the crossbar and goalkeeper Barnes to give his side the lead.
After starting the second half in lively fashion the home side were almost undone twice in a matter of minutes. First a free kick whipped into the box was poked wide by Shane Killock from ten yards out before a combination of Crane and McCone denied Walshaw what seemed like a certain goal in the 64th minute.
It would be Hednesford that would strike next though as they doubled their lead in the 66th minute. Good interplay in midfield saw Jamey Osborne surge forward and he struck a beautifully driven effort from outside the box into the bottom corner of the net.
Within five minutes the visitors were back in it as Walshaw turned his marker on the edge of the box and fired home past Crane from 18 yards out to give his side hope. This they capitalised on and in the 80th minute they would draw level when, after Crane palmed out a free kick, Dominic Rowe was on hand to stab home into the back of the net.
The home side could well have caved in following this fightback but Hednesford are certainly made of sterner stuff and they wouldn’t be outdone as just three minutes later they re-took the lead. Osborne once again surged forward and after he was brought down 20 yards from goal up stepped Glover to curl home another great free kick into the top corner of the net, giving Barnes no chance.
Despite some nervy moments which saw the visitors strike the crossbar in added time, the home side managed to hold on for a deserved three points, much to the relief of all inside Keys Park.
Crane, Melbourne, Campion, McCone, Francis, Taylor, Osborne, Thorley, Glover (Dell 89), Robinson, Walker (Ashmore 72)
Subs not used:
Bailey, Cranston, Smith
Barnes, Turner, Meynell, Lenighan (Metcalfe 46), Killock, McGurk, Kerry, Nelthorpe, Swain, Walshaw, Dean (Rowe 58)
Subs not used:
Heath, Bloomer, Crook
Star Man: Danny Glover
Entertainment Rating: Five Stars