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Hednesford Town 0–1 Marine AFC

Sunday 17/02/2019

An inspired goalkeeping performance from Marine’s Joseph Hilton saw the visitors take home all three points from Keys Park as Hednesford Town failed to score at home for the sixth time this season.

The visitors started on the front foot and James Murray should really have put his side ahead when some good interplay saw the midfielder firing wide from 12 yards out in the fourth minute.

Hednesford’s Reece King saw two headed efforts go narrowly over the crossbar before Marine’s Steven Irwin suffered a cut to the head in the 19th minute which saw a delay in action of almost five minutes.

Five minutes later Hilton made his first great save when good football saw the ball find its way to Jud Ellis who drilled in a low effort that was turned behind. From the resulting corner Javan Vidal headed the ball down and Shane Benjamin saw his effort cleared off the line by a combination of defender and crossbar.

This proved crucial as Marine would take the lead in the 28th minute when some lovely interplay saw the ball finds its way to Irwin who made no mistake from eight yards out to put his side in front.

Five minutes later the visitors appealed in vain for a penalty after Murray broke through but a perfectly timed tackle from Ben Bailey resulted in the ball being cleared.

Hednesford had a great chance to equalise in the 35th minute when Kieran Wells raced clear but after setting himself his low effort hit the upright and bounced away to safety.

HT: 0-1

The start of the second half saw Hilton in top form as he first denied Vidal in the 53rd minute before saving well from Wells 12 minutes later after the striker had latched onto a loose ball inside the box.

Wells was denied again by Hilton in the 65th minute when the striker rose highest six yards out but the goalkeeper turned his effort over the crossbar.

Hilton’s best save of the game would arrive in the 73rd minute though as another long Ben Bailey throw caused confusion and King saw his header superbly saved low down and pushed out for a corner.

Just when Hednesford were on top the game came to a halt for five minutes when Marine’s Niall Cummins went down with an ankle injury that saw him stretchered off.

Marine’s Daniel Shaw saw an effort blocked away in the 90th minute and although eight minutes of stoppage time followed Hednesford were unable to make a breakthrough and now sit just three points above the relegation zone.

Hednesford Town: Preston, Melbourne, Fox (Jones 83), Harvey, Moran, Bailey, Vidal, King, Benjamin, Wells, Ellis (Sangha 71)
Subs not used: Gatter, Archer, Veiga

Marine AFC: Hilton, Tattum, Edge, Barnes, Doyle, Strickland, Murray (Shaw 65), Irwin, Carney, Cummins (Elstone 85), Dunne (Hynes 46)
Subs not used: Mitchley, Mendes

Attendance: 343



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