Hednesford Town 1-1 Mickleover Sports

Sunday 25/11/2018

Hednesford Town were denied all three points against a physical Mickleover Sports side following a stoppage time penalty that saw the game end level.

After an even start Hednesford had the first shot in anger after nine minutes when Michael Howard saw his effort blocked away before Joe Fitzpatrick fired well over.

For the third time this season the Pitmen were denied a penalty for handball after Howard’s shot was stopped inside the 18-yard box but referee Ben Cooke turned the appeals away in the 19th minute.

Hednesford goalkeeper Josef Bursik was called into action for the first time in the 24th minute – making a low save from a Nathan Jarman freekick.

Mickleover were almost ahead two minutes later when Adam Parusa broke the offside trap, rounded Bursik only for big defender Rudy Misambo to deny the attacker with a fine tackle in front of the open goal.

In the 35th minute Hednesford should really have gone ahead when Howard was played through one-on-one but with time to think he dragged his shot wide of the far post.

Two minutes later the Pitmen would take the lead though when Josh Craddock broke forward and fed Howard before the frontman cut inside and rifled in a shot from 20 yards which found the back of the net via the post.

Right on the stroke of halftime Hednesford worked the ball well down the right-hand side and the cross in found Dan Cockerline but the striker couldn’t convert.

HT: 1-0

In the 58th minute Sports were perhaps lucky not to be reduced to ten men when Ricky Ravenhill went through Joe Fitpatrick but the midfielder received just a yellow – one of six for his side, which will ultimately earn them a fine from the football authorities.

Seven minutes later a freekick from Jed Davies caused problems with Lewis King just able to palm it over the crossbar.

Hednesford would go close again in the 69th minute when Howard latched onto a loose ball in the Sports box and laid it off to Davies but he got his chipped effort wrong and it drifted over.

Meanwhile at the other end Bursik was reduced to just having to claim a handful of set pieces that the visitors forced.

Just when Hednesford thought they’d done enough to earn all three points Sports were awarded a spot-kick in the first minute of stoppage time when Charlie Gatter was adjudged to have fouled his man. Jarman made no mistake from 12 yards firing home low under Bursik to earn a share of the spoils.

It wasn’t the first time that Mr Cooke had denied the Pitmen in this way with a similarly harsh penalty decision costing Hednesford points back in February 2016 against North Ferriby United, and once again he made sure that he left the pitch the centre of attention.

Hednesford Town: Bursik, Mendez-Jones, Griffiths, Fitzpatrick, Misambo, Gatter, Curley, Craddock (Davies 58), Cockerline, Howard, Fox
Subs not used: Abadaki, Lycett, Drain, Veiga

Mickleover Sports: King, Tvaroh, Turner, Ravenhill, Mills, Burgin, Cribley (Boula 70), Phillips (Warren 66), Garnett, Jarman, Parusa
Subs not used: Walsh, Ford, Scott

Attendance: 282



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