Pitmen beaten at the last …
Hednesford Town were dealt a cruel blow as they suffered a late defeat at Barrow, despite having taken the lead with 12 minutes to go.
It looked as if one of the longest away journeys of the season for the Pitmen would be a fruitful one, but it was only to be denied right at the last.
In a howling gale, both sides battled hard against each other in the opening exchanges without really creating too many openings, although Hednesford were able to work a couple of early chances which saw home goalkeeper Tony McMillan just about deal with the threat, despite looking uncomfortable.
The Pitmen were dealt a blow though in the 11th minute as Paul McCone was forced off with an injury and with Chris Westwood also struggling; it meant that Richard Batchelor was forced to drop into a centre-half position.
Barrow’s Jason Walker had half a chance to open the scoring in the 16th minute, only to head wide as Town dealt with any threat that the second placed side created.
The match was very back and forth without either goalkeeper really being tested, but the home side should have taken the lead in the 42nd minute when Andy Cook was played in, but he shot into the side netting.
Eleven minutes into the second period, Steve Diggin had half a chance to open the scoring, only to be denied by a good block as Hednesford sensed that they may be able to leave Cumbria with more than just a single point.
As the half wore on, the home crowd became more disgruntled with their team’s performance as Hednesford limited their hosts to long range efforts.
With just over 15 minutes remaining, Hednesford introduced new striker George McGee and he made an immediate impact as, despite his young age, he shrugged off a Barrow defender before setting up Glenn Walker who shot straight at McMillan when well placed.
McGee wouldn’t be denied some glory though, as following some good link up play, the youngster found half a yard of space and despite seeing his first shot blocked, he managed to fire home at the second attempt with 12 minutes remaining.
As the minutes ticked by it looked as if Town might be able to pick up all three points, but they were to be denied when in the 86th minute when a fantastic cross was met by Cook who fired home from 12 yards out.
Further heartbreak would follow for Hednesford in the 89th minute as Sam Sheridan fired home a 30-yard free kick into the top corner of the net to undo the previous 88 minutes of good work by Rob Smith’s side.
Despite a couple of half chances late on, Hednesford weren’t able to get the point that was so deserved. The Pitmen now face Chorley at home this coming Saturday as they look to get back to winning ways.
Barrow: McMillan, Burns, Wilmer-Anderton, Lacey, Cowperthwaite, Grand, Ellison (Ledsham 70), Sheridan, Walker, Cook, Cribley (Gorman 78)
Subs not used: Pritchard, McWilliams, Willis
Hednesford Town: Crane, Hurst, Campion, Bailey, McCone (Melbourne 11), Thorley, Osborne, Walker (Sullivan 90), Diggin (McGee 73), Thomas, Batchelor
Subs not used: Robinson, Westwood
Entertainment Rating: Three Stars