Hednesford Town’s long wait for a victory at Keys Park in 2016 finally ended after they came from behind to defeat Staffordshire rivals Tamworth thanks to two second half goals from Tom Peers.
The Pitmen knew that only three points would do in their quest for survival while they came up against a Tamworth side that were requiring the points in order to stay in the hunt for the play-offs.
The game started in lively fashion with the Lambs’ Danny Newton firing just wide for the visitors in the fifth minute while Paul Ennis blazed a great chance over the bar from the edge of the box for Hednesford four minutes later.
The end-to-end nature of the match continued with Newton fizzing an effort past the post in the 11th minute before sixty seconds later Town’s Danny Glover controlled the ball well just inside the box but his shot lacked any real conviction.
In the 20th minute Hednesford’s Adam Thomas saw his speculative effort fly just wide of the upright while Newton saw another chance smothered by goalkeeper Dan Crane five minutes later.
Crane would be in action again right on the stroke of half-time as he was able to parry Newton’s effort away to bring an end to the half.
Former Hednesford man Elliott Durrell had been nullified for most of the first period but five minutes into the second half he saw a fiercely struck effort curl just wide of the Pitmen’s post.
Hednesford responded and after Sean Williams’ free-kick flew wide of the upright they should really have taken the lead in the 56th minute when Glover worked hard down the right and picked out Ennis but he skewed his effort behind for the a goal-kick.
It would be the visitors that would open the scoring on the hour mark as a long throw into the Town box was cleared only as far as Kaid Mohamed who drilled a low effort into the bottom corner.
The Pitmen didn’t let this get them down though and equalised in the 70th minute when Shelton Payne got down the left-wing and his cross picked out fellow substitute Peers to fire home.
Hednesford completed the turnaround six minutes later when Glover held the ball up superbly in the penalty area and was able to lay it off to Peers who found the back of the net to put his side in front.
Former Town striker Ross Dyer saw a header go wide of the upright late on but it was Hednesford who should really have extended their lead after being awarded a penalty in the third minute of stoppage time after Peers was fouled.
The striker picked himself up but saw his spot-kick turned over the bar by James Belshaw in the Tamworth goal.
There was very nearly a late sting in the tail for the Pitmen as Tamworth won one last corner and an unmarked Belshaw, who had come up to join the attack, headed his effort a foot or two over the crossbar.
Seconds later the full-time whistle sounded to applause and relief from the home supporters with Hednesford looking to do the same when Worcester City visit Keys Park on Tuesday evening.
Hednesford Town: Crane, Thomas, Truelove, Bailey, Digie, Fitzwater, Ennis (Peers 60), Williams, Glover, Ngamvoulou (Payne 68), Royle
Subs not used: Ransome, Trainer, Robinson
Tamworth: Belshaw, Burns, Dyer, Deeney, Tommassen, Preston, Durrell, Smith (Morrell 85), Newton, Mohamed (Taylor 80), Strong
Subs not used: Hubbins, Carter, Ezewele
Star Man: Danny Glover
Entertainment Rating: Four Stars