Pitmen left baffled by late abandonment ..
Hednesford Town players, officials and supporters were left dismayed as three points were snatched away from the Pitmen in controversial circumstances with just 14 minutes remaining.
Despite having played for over 75 minutes, referee Andy Hendley felt that the game was unable to be finished with Hednesford leading 3-0 against an in-form Worcester City side. This was much to the annoyance of all involved with Hednesford.
City were the first side to test either goalkeeper as Sean Geddes whipped in a shot that Dan Crane managed to palm away with Mike Symons’ header easily saved on the follow-up.
Former Worcester man Tom Thorley then saw a free kick fly just over the bar before City goalkeeper Nathan Vaughan spilled another, quickly reclaiming it in the 23rd minute.
It would be the visitors who would take the lead in the 29th minute when a long throw from Ben Bailey was flicked on by Paul McCone and Graham Hutchinson sliced into his own net to make it 1-0.
Worcester didn’t let this get to them and the lively Daniel Nti had two chances before the break to level the scores. First he rounded Crane before being denied by an excellent sliding tackle from James Hurst. This was followed by a smart save low down from the goalkeeper which would be last action of the first period.
The start of the second half saw City putting increased pressure on the Hednesford back line as both sides continued to play football on a tricky but playable surface.
They almost drew themselves level in the 47th minute only for Richard Batchelor to make a last ditch challenge, followed by a fizzing long-range effort from Geddes which Crane stopped underneath his bar.
Hednesford responded well after the pressure though and made it 2-0 in the 62nd minute. A corner from the left was cleared as far as Glenn Walker and his low driven effort was flicked home by Batchelor to double his sides lead.
Sixty seconds later it was 3-0 as Jamey Osborne won the ball from the kick-off, pushed forward and found Walker who drove home from 18 yards out, past the hapless Vaughan.
The City goalkeeper was obviously most dismayed at these two strikes as he took it upon himself to point out wet patches in the penalty area to the officials at any chance he could.
With the rain continuing to fall both sides still contested what was an end-to-end affair with Town’s defence holding up to what City threw at them whilst Steve Diggin was unfortunate not to get on the end of two through balls played into him.
Then with 14 minutes remaining, as City surged forward past the referee, he suddenly decided that enough was enough and abandoned the game. There was no consultation with either side as the final whistle blew and much to the annoyance of all those associated with Hednesford the match was called off.
It remains to be seen what the final outcome of the match will be, but Town now prepare for two home fixtures as Gloucester City visit on Sunday 28th December before Worcester come to Keys Park on New Year’s Day.
Worcester City: Vaughan, Weir, Jackman, Hutchinson, Rowe, Gater, Nti, Deeney, Symons, Geddes, Murphy (Taylor 60)
Subs not used: Wright, Dunkley, Thomas, Veiga
Hednesford Town: Crane, Hurst, Campion, Bailey, McCone, Thorley, Osborne, Walker, Diggin, Thomas, Batchelor
Subs not used: Melbourne, Robinson, Westwood, Sullivan
Star Man: Glenn Walker
Entertainment Rating: Four Stars