It was derby day delight for Hednesford Town as they saw off a late Rushall Olympic charge to earn their first points of 2017.
The Pitmen were forced to hand a full debut to Academy player Remeao Hutton as he filled in as an emergency right back following an injury to loan player Callum Roberts, while Vinny Mukendi and Spencer Weir-Daley were partnered together from the start for the first time.
After an even commencement to the game, the Pitmen started to stamp some authority on the fixture and had their first effort in anger after 23 minutes as Mukendi held the ball up before firing a shot into the side netting
Three minutes later Hednesford defender Kyle Haynes almost opened the scoring in unusual fashion as his right footed cross was missed by Mukendi and just diverted wide by Jose Veiga in the Rushall goal.
Mukendi was proving a real handful for the opposition backline and almost opened his scoring account at Keys Park after taking the ball forward as he curled in an excellent effort from 20 yards which was touched over the bar by Veiga.
Rushall had offered little going forward but a long ball over the top in the 33rd minute almost opened Town up, but a combination of Dan Preston and Lloyd Ransome were able to snuff out the chance for Jazz Luckie.
It would be the Pitmen that would make the breakthrough in the 37th minute though when a clearance bounced off Iwan Cartwright to Vinny Mukendi who was able to advance forward and calmly fire home from six yards.
Two minutes later the lead was doubled as Mukendi beat Veiga in the air at the back post and knocked the ball down for Spencer Weir-Daley to score his first goal in Hednesford colours.
The second period saw the visitors come out very much on top with Hednesford being stuck inside their own half during the first ten minutes as Rushall forced a number of corners.
Hednesford were able to weather the pressure that came their way though and should really have put the result beyond all doubt in the 64th minute when some lovely football saw the ball squared to Weir-Daley but he fired wide from 12 yards with just Veiga to beat.
This was punished almost immediately as Rushall reduced the arrears in the 72nd minute when a ball into the box found an unmarked Aaron Forde who looped his header over Ransome and into the Hednesford net.
As the Pitmen dropped deeper into their own half the visitors sensed that they could yet get something out of the fixture and saw a good chance come and go in the 86th minute as Mickail Partodikromo blazed over from the edge of the box.
There was to be one last chance for Rushall, and they should have perhaps drawn level from it, as the ball fell kindly inside the Hednesford box for Sam Whittall but his composure went missing just when it was required and he fired over the bar from six yards out.
Hednesford Town: Ransome, Haynes, Hutton, McNaught, Caines, Preston, Thorley, Cartwright (Matthews 82), Mukendi, McDermott (Sheldon 59), Weir-Daley (Glover 69).
Subs not used: Crane, Forsyth.
Rushall Olympic: Veiga, Christophorou, Cooper (Jackson 73), Forde, Eze, Hull, Bottomer, Whittall, McKenzie, Bowerman (Luckie 15, Mugisha 65), Partodikromo.
Subs not used: Diop, Hayes.
Star Man: Vinny Mukendi
Entertainment Rating: Four Stars