An injury ravaged Hednesford Town were narrowly beaten by Welsh Premier League side Newtown AFC in the latest pre-season friendly for Rob Smith’s side.
The Pitmen were left without four players through injury while four further players from the squad were also missing – leading to Hednesford starting the game with no less than five trialists in their team.
Newtown meanwhile had four former Town players in their squad in Ben Bailey, Jay Denny, Nick Rushton and Callum Roberts.
In a lively opening the hosts should really have been ahead in the fourth minute but a shot was dragged wide of the goal.
At the other end Mikey Nelson and Dan Cockerline both saw chances come and go while Callam Mendez-Jones had to react quickly to clear the ball off the Pitmen line in the 13th minute.
In a niggly first half there was little to speak of until the final stages when the hosts opened the scoring five minutes before the break in somewhat controversial circumstances.
After winning a freekick a rolling ball was played forward to Rushton, who looked to be in an offside position, but made no mistake from 18 yards.
The start of the second half saw a number of set pieces dominating both penalty areas and Joe Fitzpatrick, in a centre-half role, had to react quickly to superbly stop Rushton when clean through in the 59th minute.
Hednesford saw a good chance to equalise come and go in the 64th minute when a corner picked out Cockerline but his header went inches wide at the far post.
Rushton had another chance snuffed out in the 73rd minute before Cockerline watched a header land on the roof of the net six minutes later.
Despite the introduction of other players from the bench in the end the single goal would be enough for the home side.
Hednesford Town: Trialist A, Mendez-Jones, Trialist B, Trialist C, Trialist D, Fitzpatrick, Trialist E, Hollis, Cockerline, Hill, Nelson
Subs: Turner, Trialist F, Francis, Galinski, Fox, Veiga