Hednesford Town produced an excellent second half performance as they claimed all three points against a North Ferriby United side that have traditionally been a bogey team for the Pitmen.
Rob Smith’s side went into the game knowing that a fifth straight win would see them move up to third place in the table and overtake a Tamworth side which had seemed out of reach at one point.
The much-changed home side, who were preparing for the second leg of the FA Trophy semi-final on Saturday, started the better of the two teams as they forced a number of throw-ins which were as troublesome as dead ball situations due to their long throw specialist, Louis Bruce.
It would be Ferriby who would force the first attempt on target when Adam Bolder found space inside the box, but his driven effort was palmed over the bar by Dan Crane in the Town goal after 13 minutes.
Two minutes later, Ryan Kendall saw a long skidding effort diverted wide by his own man, whilst at the other end Andy Todd’s low driven effort was easily saved by goalkeeper Tom Nicholson.
Hednesford’s best chance of the half came after 36 minutes when Jamey Osborne drove forward and pulled the ball back to Nick Rushton who saw his fiercely-struck shot blocked on its way to goal.
The game swung the Pitmen’s way right on the stroke of half-time though, when Ferriby defender Nathan Peat was dismissed for a late tackle on Tom Thorley, his second of the half.
With the introduction of Adam Thomas at half-time, Hednesford started the second period on the front foot and three minutes into it they were ahead. A lovely ball to Rushton saw the striker take the ball down and round one defender before firing home past Nicholson.
Ten minutes later the lead was almost doubled as Thomas was denied brilliantly by Nicholson, as his point blank effort was turned away. As with football everything can change in the space of a few seconds, and this was the case just after the hour mark. As the ten men looked for a way back into the game, Ferriby’s Nathan Jarman struck the crossbar after the ball was whipped in low and hard.
Sixty seconds later they were 2-0 down when Thomas cut inside from the right wing and fired home an excellent second goal to double Town’s lead. This really deflated the home side and Hednesford could well have added further goals to the tally with Tom Thorley firing a free kick just wide of the upright while in the last minute, Osborne once again surged to the bye-line before finding Glenn Walker who shanked his effort and the chance was gone.
In truth though it didn’t matter as Hednesford played out time to record another excellent victory on the road and continue their upward momentum.
North Ferriby United: Nicholson, Bruce, Peat, D’Laryea, Anderson, Wilson, Taylor (Wilde 50), Bolder (Fry 71), Jarman, Kendall, Bateson
Subs not used: Denton, Gray, Douglas
Hednesford Town: Crane, Hurst, Campion, Bailey, Todd (Thomas 46), Thorley, Osborne, Walker, Robinson (Diggin 66), Rushton (Strain 79), Batchelor
Sub not used: Kerry
Star Man: Adam Thomas
Entertainment Rating: Three Stars