The Pitmen fielded a much-changed side to the one that defeated Workington at the weekend for this first round league cup tie with Kidsgrove Athletic. With one eye on Saturday’s FA Cup tie, manager Rob Smith gave some of the players who have featured less regularly the opportunity to impress.
The Pitmen started well enough and maintained the bulk of possession of the ball early on; however it was the home side who had the better chances to opening the scoring with the impressive Will Saxon carving out a couple of half chances. Howard forced an excellent save from Kurasik to keep the scores level, before a decisive run and cross from Nelson set up Charley Edge to drill home a clinical finish from the left of the Kidsgrove area in the 28th minute.
A well-timed header from Reece King broke up a Kidsgrove attack, feeding Howard in space whose cross was put wide by 16 year-old Owen Turner making his competitive debut for the Pitmen.
The home side continued to threaten with Saxon landing a shot on the roof of the net, before Williams evaded a handful of defenders to send a thunderous strike past Jose Veiga from the edge of the area to equalise in the 41st minute.
Kidsgrove, now with downhill advantage, started the second half the stronger side. They would take the lead in the 63rd minute when Saxon rose the highest to head home a corner and get the goal his all round performance deserved.
The Pitmen made a double substitution as they tried to get back into the game with Francis and Archer entering the fray. Kurasik kept Nelson at bay, palming his powerful shot from distance behind for a corner. Kurasik denied the Pitmen again, parrying King’s header from a Charley Edge free kick and gathering the ball at the second attempt.
As Hednesford committed more men forward in the closing stages of the game, inevitably it would be Kidsgrove who completed the scoring when Diskin squared the ball for Malbon to apply a simple finish past Veiga to put the result beyond doubt.
Kidsgrove Athletic: Kurasik, Freeland, Bergin, Twyford, Rhodes, Butler, Diskin, Williams (Morris 46), Cole (Malbon 70), Saxon, Rumenio
Sub not used: Budrys
Hednesford Town: Veiga, Curley, Grimshaw, King, Galinski (Griffiths 46), Mendez-Jones (Francis 63), Turner (Archer 63), Hollis, Nelson, Howard, Edge
Subs not used: Cockerline, Dodd