Hednesford Town saw a two-goal lead slip from their grasp twice before equalising late on after playing out an eight-goal thriller with Nantwich Town at Keys Park in front of an 800 strong crowd backed by hundreds of young supporters.
It was the visitors who first threatened when Casper Hughes saw his low effort superbly turned around the post by Kieran Preston in the tenth minute.
Hednesford’s Kieran Wells poked an effort wide from six yards in the 14th minute before Ben Bailey almost caught visiting goalkeeper William Jaaskelainen out with a cross that held up in the wind ten minutes later.
In the 33rd minute Nantwich appealed for a penalty when former Premier League striker Ricardo Fuller went down in the penalty area but the referee waved play on.
Four minutes later Hednesford would take the lead though when Dan Sweeney, who had returned on loan to the club yesterday, worked the ball well down the right and his inch perfect cross was able to pick out Kieran Wells who headed home into the corner of the net.
Right on the stroke of halftime the Pitmen’s work was nearly undone when Fuller nipped in past a static defence only for Preston to make a smart low save.
This would prove crucial as five minutes into the second half Hednesford doubled their lead when Dan Sweeney was taken down in the penalty area and the striker was able to pick himself up before firing home from 12 yards out.
Within two minutes Nantwich were back in it though when fullback Jamie Morgan finished low past Preston after the Pitmen had switched off at the back.
The home side would restore their two goal lead in the 57th minute though when Dan Sweeney cut inside from the right before firing in a wonderful left footed effort from 20 yards that found the back of the net via the crossbar.
An end-to-end game saw Nantwich reduce the arrears eight minutes later as former Hednesford striker Danny Glover raced clear before firing home into the net from the edge of the box.
The Pitmen were now on the back foot and the visitors would draw themselves level in the 75th minute when a corner was initially cleared off the line by Preston before Joseph Malkin was able to rifle the ball into the back of the net.
In blustery conditions Hednesford would fall behind in the 82nd minute as a corner whipped in was only half punched clear by Preston and Matthew Bell was able to slot home at the back post.
The hosts wouldn’t be outdone though as they fought back to level four minutes later when a long throw picked out Ben O’Hanlon who rose highest to head the ball into the net to bring a close to a pulsating game.
Hednesford Town: Preston, Vidal, Fox, Harvey, Moran, Bailey, Racchi (Gatter 80), King, Wells (Benjamin 89), Sweeney, Hallahan (O’Hanlon 70)
Subs not used: Ellis, Veiga
Nantwich Town: Jaaskelainen, Morgan, Bourne, Stair, Mullarkey, Hughes, Lawrie (Bell 52), Fuller (Glover 62), Malkin, Cooke, Cotterell (Walsh 52)
Subs not used: Saunders, Mwasile