Lancaster City 0-1 Hednesford Town

Sunday 31/12/2017

Hednesford Town ended 2017 on a high note after recording back-to-back away league victories in the space of four days thanks to a second half header from Sam Oji to defeat Lancaster City.

The Pitmen started the game on the front foot and almost found a way through in the fourth minute when James Fitzgibbon played in Mason Walsh but the winger was unable to bring the ball under control.

In the 15th minute a flick-on from Joey Butlin found Fitzgibbon and the midfielder saw his low shot at the near post turned away by Chris Cheetham in the Lancaster goal.

Hednesford goalkeeper James Wren had little to do in the opening exchanges although he did have to quickly race from his line in the 17th minute to deny Craig Carney.

Five minutes later the best chance of the half arrived for the home side when a corner picked out an unmarked Glenn Steel whose free header was cleared off the line by Callam Mendez-Jones.

In the 34th minute Matt Curley drove forward and played in Fitzgibbon whose cross picked out the fullback but his low effort was blocked before Walsh watched as his follow up shot was also cleared.

Two minutes later a 25-yard effort from Butlin saw Cheetham dive low to his left to push the rasping drive away.

HT: 0-0

Four minutes into the second half Wren was forced into a low smart save before the Pitmen came closest to opening the scoring in the 55th minute. Walsh turned one way and another before firing in a low effort from the edge of the box that struck the inside of the post and rebounded into the grateful arms of Cheetham.

Hednesford went close again in the 63rd minute when Walsh was fouled 25 yards out and James Lawrie curled an effort just wide of the upright.

The Pitmen continued to press and Curley saw an effort deflected behind before Oji watched on as his headed effort from a corner was cleared off the line in the 68th minute.

Five minutes later Hednesford would take the lead though when Lawrie played a free-kick into the box which was flicked on by Butlin to Sam Oji who scored with a diving header at the far post.

The home side responded though and forced a succession of corners and also hit the inside the post, albeit Carney’s effort would have been ruled out for offside anyway.

Lancaster would have a half chance a minute from time but Wren was able to see the ball wide of his post after a low shot from Steve Williams failed to trouble the Pitmen backline.

After playing out four minutes of stoppage time Hednesford were able to claim the three points ahead of their big local derby against Stafford Rangers at Keys Park on New Year’s Day.

Lancaster CityCheetham, Henry (Akrigg 84), Steel, Mercer, Clark, Wills, Carney, Jarvis, Winder (C Bailey 78), Kilifin, Williams (S Bailey 71)
Subs not used: Dugdale, Hudson

Hednesford TownWren, Mendez-Jones, Curley, Fitzpatrick, Oji, Gatter, Walsh (Graham 74) Thorley, Butlin, Lawrie (Taylor 90+3), Fitzgibbon (King 81)
Subs not used: Mbunga, Mutton

Attendance: 345



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