Goal in Each Half and Inspirational Obeng Gives Pitmen Vital Win ..
Ahmed Obeng turned in an inspirational performance for The Pitmen to give new boss Bernard McNally his first league win since his appointment in September, against a Lowestoft Town side who, despite finding themselves in promising positions, just lacked that bit of class to really put Hednesford under pressure.
Obeng began the match, playing alongside strike partner Nathan Modest, selflessly running the channels to create space for other players and Sean Williams was the first player to capitalise as his low shot forced Harry Burgoyne into a solid save on seven minutes.
To Lowestoft’s credit, having travelled well over 200 miles to the Midlands, they looked threatening when going forward with Jake Reed giving Hednesford captain Ben Bailey a rather testing opening 20 minutes.
Phil Trainer misjudged a corner into the box which gave Michael Spillane a glorious opportunity to hit the target, but he could only head tamely over the bar and then, after a raking crossfield pass from defence, Jarvis squeezed a yard of space from Bailey and shot across Dave Parton’s far post.
It was after that chance that the home side began to get a foothold in the game and, after Bailey looked to have spurned a fantastic chance at the back post, only for the offside flag to spare his blushes, Obeng lit the game up in superb fashion.
Erkan Okay saw his shot scrambled off the line by the Hednesford defence and, as the ball broke to Obeng 30 yards from his own goal, the pacy striker went on a meandering run which took him past four players to the edge of the Lowestoft area.
Obeng was then crudely brought down and, from the resulting free kick, Sean Williams spotted Burgoyne still organising his wall and curled a fantastic shot into the top corner to open the scoring.
The vital second goal for the home side came on 50 minutes when a free kick into the box was headed on towards goal, Burgoyne made a superb full length save to turn the ball onto the crossbar but, as Keys Park held its breath, the ball dropped to Tom Thorley, a player who ran Obeng very close for man of the match, to brilliantly volley the ball left footed into the net.
The Pitmen’s defensive frailties came to the fore again on 69 minutes as a straight long ball through the middle wasn’t dealt with and, as Parton rushed from his goal and connected only with thin air, Reed kept his composure to halve the deficit and set up an unnecessarily nervous final 20 minutes.
Unfortunately for the away side, despite putting concerted pressure on the Hednesford rearguard, only two chances were created, both of which were sliced horribly wide and The Pitmen deservedly saw out an important three points ahead of their home match against Alfreton Town in the FA Cup next weekend.
Hednesford Town : Parton, Disney, Regan, Bailey (c), T Williams, Trainer, S Williams (34) (Digie 86), Thorley (50), Modest (Ennis 70), Obeng, Todd,
Subs Not Used: James, Perry, McQuilkin,
Lowestoft Town : Burgoyne, Ainsley, Smith, Fisk (Bammant 88), Gleeson, Spillane, Mitchell (Crow 52), Ross Jarvis (c), Reed (69), Okay (Barker 81), Ryan Jarvis,
Subs Not Used: Nunn, Jessup,
Bookings – Fisk, Spillane, Ross Jarvis,
Star Man – Ahmed Obeng
Entertainment Rating – 3 Stars
Attendance – 378