Hednesford Town returned to winning ways at Keys Park after moving into the next round of the Integero League Cup following victory over Rushall Olympic.
Before the game the tie had the added interest of Liam McDonald returning with the Pics to Keys Park nearly a year after his departure for Solihull Moors – although it was only a watching brief for the former Pitmen manager with John Allen and Trevor Burroughs taking charge in the dugout.
A much changed Pitmen line-up featuring several players out of position made a strong start to the game and shaded the opening exchanges.
The breakthrough came in the 18th minute following some patient build-up play around the Rushall area, culminating in Jordan Graham curling a shot in from the edge of the box.
Hednesford should have increased their lead a couple of minutes later when Joey Butlin held the ball up, allowing the lively Graham to provide a cross for Checkaine Steele whose close range shot was blocked.
Skipper Tom Thorley, filling in at right back, came close to adding to the score lifting the ball over the advancing Jaquil Hill but was thwarted by a goal line clearance.
Both sides made changes for the second half with Danny Glover replacing Steele for the Pitmen, and Wall and Hail entering the fray for the Pics.
Despite the changes the game continued in a similar fashion to the first half. Although a spell of possession from Rushall did lead to an appeal for a penalty which was turned down by the referee.
The game was settled as a contest by the impressive Graham‘s second goal. This time he collected a long pass into the area and from the left of the box calmly lifted his shot over Hill and into the net.
Late on a charge down the right from Thorley played in Ross Haig who, on his debut, attempted to go round the keeper but Hill was first to the ball.
A comfortable win and a solid team performance from Hednesford against a disappointing Rushall side.
Hednesford Town: Wren, Thorley, Weir, Bailey, King, Fitzpatrick, Steele, (Glover 45) Collins, Butlin, (Haig 69) Graham, (Wheeldon 88) Lawrie
Subs not used: Mutton, Veiga
Rushall Olympic: Hill, Webb, Lingard, Duke, Hull, Adelekan (Hall 46), Waldron, Hancox, Dunkley (Dell 62), Scott, Valido-Barai (Wall 46)
Subs not used: O’Neil-Martin, Best