After a turbulent week, Hednesford Town arrived at Whaddon Road for the game against an in-form Gloucester City side, knowing that a result was essential.
The visitors started brightly with plenty of possession and made their intentions clear with a number of raids down the wings by Shelton Payne and new boy Modou Cham, signed on loan from Blackburn Rovers on Friday.
However, the Pitmen’s defensive frailties were once again exposed in the 15th minute when a mix up between Kennedy Digie and Dan Crane on the edge of the area left Joe Parker to put the ball into the unguarded goal from 15 yards.
The Pitmen did not have to wait long for an equaliser though and three minutes later a corner kick from the right was met beautifully by Digie whose header powered past Jasbir Singh in the Gloucester goal.
An injury to goalscorer Parker resulted in substitute Omari Sterling-James coming into the game and he had only been on the field for two minutes when a cross field ball was not dealt with by Jack Truelove and the nippy winger controlled the loose ball, powered into the area and rifled a shot past Crane.
The game continued to ebb and flow but disaster almost struck just before half time when Sterling-James was one-on-one with Truelove but Crane, sensing danger, came charging out of his goal forcing the winger to hit a delicate lob towards the gaping net which fortunately just bounced over the bar.
The second half again started well for the visitors with Tom Peers and Adam Thomas working the Gloucester defence but with not too many clear cut scoring opportunities.
A second equaliser would arrive for Town in the 65th minute when another set piece picked out Digie and he powered in a second header from a corner to get his side back on level terms.
The Pitmen were now getting much of the territorial advantage and, with the home side missing their 6ft 4in defender Robbie Cundy through suspension, it was a logical move by Frank Sinclair to bring Kyle Perry on to try to exploit this aerial weakness. The big striker came on in the 66th minute for Modou Cham who had shown a number of clever touches on his debut, enough to show that he will be a very useful addition to the squad in the run-in.
An excellent opportunity crafted by the visitors in the 74th minute saw Peers in the clear 20 yards out but his shot was high and wide when he should have hit the target.
The final ten minutes saw an ‘all-out’ aerial assault from the Pitmen with ball after ball into the box but the home side defended resolutely. The addition of Marvin Robinson into the mix for the last five minutes for Payne failed to break the deadlock and Hednesford had to settle for the point.
Gloucester City: Singh, Green, Jones, Williams M, Hamilton, Knowles, Webb, Hanks (Richards 75), Williams E, Parker (Sterling-James 24), Hall (Hicks 75)
Subs not used: Nkunga, Hannah
Hednesford Town: Crane, Fitzwater, Truelove (Trainer 68), Bailey, Digie, Thorley, Thomas, Williams, Peers, Cham (Perry 66), Payne
Subs not used: Ennis, Glover.
Star Man: Kennedy Digie
Entertainment Rating: Three Stars