Hednesford grind out the three points …
Hednesford Town produced a final ten minute flurry of goals, including one from the halfway line that will be talked about for many a year, to earn them all three points against a stubborn Brackley Town side.
For long periods the visitors looked well worth their point, only to be undone late on as the Pitmen continued their quest for a place in the top five.
The home side should really have gone ahead after just seven minutes when the ball fell kindly to former Brackley man Steve Diggin, but he dragged his effort wide of the goal when well placed.
Rob Smith’s team would pay for this early miss as Brackley were in front two minutes later. Following good work down the left-hand side, a ball into the box found Ryan Rowe who headed home powerfully from 12 yards out.
Hednesford responded quickly though and were level within four minutes. Man of the match Jamey Osborne beat three men before finding Diggin who shot towards goal, only to see the ball cannon off Marvin Robinson’s face before finding the net.
In an open first half the Pitmen almost completed a turnaround before the half hour mark when a cross from the right was met by Robinson, only to see his exquisite overhead kick rattle the crossbar and bounce away to safety.
Although the visitors forced a number of corners, Dan Crane was never really troubled in the home goal. It was Hednesford who had the last chance of the half as Osborne again surged forward before seeing his curling effort shave the post on the way out for a goal kick.
The start to the second period was an end-to-end affair as first Tom Thorley saw a long range effort saved by Brackley goalkeeper Billy Turley before the visitors forced two corners from which Rowe should really have done better.
As the half wore on though, it looking increasingly like the Pitmen would be denied the three points they craved as they looked to keep hold of that place in the top five.
But with eight minutes to go the breakthrough arrived when following a goalmouth scramble the ball fell kindly to substitute Nick Rushton, who had only been on the field five minutes, and he was able to fire home to the relief of most inside Keys Park.
Seven minutes later it was game, set and match as a lovely through ball from that man Osborne found Rushton, who calmly rounded Turley before rolling into the empty net.
Then, in the final minute, came one of the best goals ever witnessed at Keys Park. With nothing seemingly on, Osborne saw Turley off his line and lobbed the goalkeeper from the halfway mark, much to the amazement of all inside the ground.
It was a goal worthy of gracing any game of football and perhaps fitting that the man who had done so much to set up others had got it.
The Pitmen will be looking to continue their good run on Tuesday evening when they travel to North Ferriby United.
Hednesford Town: Crane, Hurst, Campion, Bailey, Kerry (Batchelor 59), Thorley, Osborne, Thomas (Todd 73), Robinson, Diggin (Rushton 77), Walker
Subs not used: Strain
Brackley Town: Turley, Collins, Carruthers, Eddie Odhiambo, Pierpoint, Austin, Eric Odhiambo (Built 54), Whittall, Rowe, Kaziboni (Nelson-Addy 87), Moyo (Green 84)
Subs not used: Sinclair, Farrell
Star Man: Jamey Osborne
Entertainment Rating: Three Stars