Caretaker manager Francino Francis named a strong side as the Pitmen eased past Lichfield City in the Staffordshire Senior Cup.
The Pitmen took an early lead in the fifth minute when a free kick taken on the right was punched by home keeper Jenkins into the path of Martin. Although Jenkins parried Martin’s shot, Dan Cockerline was on hand with a simple finish at the far post. Hednesford doubled their lead on 22 minutes when a ball played across the Lichfield area found Romario Martin who applied a clinical low finish from the edge of the box.
Both Cockerline and Martin went close for the Pitmen before an incident occurred on the half hour mark that became something of a talking point. From a corner, a looping header from Reece King, appeared to be drifting into the top left of the net when Lichfield defender Wright palmed the ball away. The referee awarded a penalty, and to the surprise of many opted to show Wright a yellow rather than red card. Responding to a question from the Hednesford bench, the referee stated that as King’s header was drifting wide it was not a goal scoring opportunity. Jed Davies dispatched the penalty past Jenkins into the bottom left corner of the goal.
The Pitmen maintained the pace in the second half with King playing Cockerline through on goal with a long ball out of defence, however the assistant referee flagged for a tight offside decision against the Hednesford striker.
Joel Logan had a couple of close chances to add to the score before Archer replaced him in the 65th minute. Jenkins kept out a Cockerline shot but the ball fell kindly to Lewis Archer who tapped home from close range within seconds of coming onto the pitch. Moments later Jenkins made a smart save at the feet of Archer to prevent the forward from adding to his tally.
A double substitution from Hednesford saw Howard and Turner replace Davies and Cockerline. Kieran Dawes delivered an accurate cross from the right wing finding Mikey Howard who volleyed home from inside the six-yard box in the 79th minute.
Lichfield came close to gaining a consolation goal with a free kick going just over the crossbar and two other attempts forced saves from Jose Veiga in the Hednesford goal. The score line was complete in the 88th minute when Romario Martin’s deflected shot from outside the area found the back of the net to cap a convincing performance from the Pitmen.
Lichfield City; Jenkins, Mansell, Evans, Wright, McLeod, Black ©, Shepard, Cooper, Taylor, Aiton, Lindsey. Subs O’Doherty, Robinson, Rolston, Griffiths, Keating
Hednesford Town; Veiga, Dawes, Fox, Hallahan, Misambo, King ©, Davies (Turner), Abadaki, Cockerline (Howard), Martin, Logan (Archer). Sub (not used) Gatter