Goalkeeper Dan Crane was the Hednesford Town hero as his second half penalty save made sure the Pitmen kept all three points against Grantham Town, thanks to George Carline’s first half header.
Liam McDonald made the decision to bring the long serving shot stopper back into the starting line-up and he was called into action in just the seventh minute when a short pass from Simeon Maye saw Grantham forward Felipe Barcelos feed Lee Shaw, but Crane came out quickly to block with his feet.
Hednesford then saw a chance of their own come and go a minute later when Cohen Bramall got to the byline and picked out Jamie Matthews, but his header was palmed away before Carline saw his scrambled effort cleared off the line.
Crane was then forced to deal with a long range effort before Barcelos sent a looping header wide of the upright in the 27th minute.
A minute later Joel Logan went on a mazy run, which saw him glide past three men, before firing over the cross bar, while at the other end a Grantham free kick was comfortably dealt with as the game continued to be end-to-end.
After forcing a succession of corners though it would be Hednesford that would make the breakthrough after 40 minutes. Another set piece was delivered into the penalty area by Tom Thorley and Carline rose highest to plant his header into the back of the net from ten yards out.
Hednesford should have doubled their lead a minute later when Matthews broke through but he delayed when shooting, seeing Kieran Preston in the visiting goal deny him and this action brought the first half to a close.
Carline saw a goal bound effort blocked and cleared in the 62nd minute before Maye stabbed an effort over the bar from a Thorley corner.
Four minutes later Grantham were given a great chance to level the scores from the penalty spot after Jim Mutton was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area. But Crane guessed right to superbly keep out Barcelos’ penalty as he turned the ball behind for a corner.
The shot stopper was called into action again in the 78th minute to keep out Lee Shaw after a neat one-two had seen him advance into the penalty area.
As the game edged towards a conclusion it was the home side that came closest to finding the net again when first Carline hooked an effort over Preston, which was cleared off the line by Luther Wildin, before Ashley Sammons just failed to get the ball under control when through one-on-one.
In the end it wouldn’t matter though as Carline’s headed effort proved to be the solitary goal thanks to Crane’s heroics.
Hednesford Town: Crane, Williams, Bramall, Maye, Mutton, Flanagan, Logan (Martin 86), Thorley, Matthews (Phipps 71), Singh (Sammons 77), Carline
Subs not used: Ransome, Hutton
Grantham Town: Preston, Meadows, Storry, Tank (Wildin 60), Galinski, Hollingsworth (Lewis 74), Clifton, Burrows, Barcelos, Lee Shaw, Luke Shaw (Durkin 82)
Sub not used: Martin
Star Man: Dan Crane (Hednesford Town)
Entertainment Rating: Three Stars