Bank Holiday double as the Pitmen take all three points at Tamworth.
The season’s first Staffordshire derby was played in sweltering conditions at the Lamb Ground, turning out to be close contest with clear-cut scoring chances at a premium. The hosts dominated the opening stages of the game without really testing Daniel Platt in the Pitmen goal, although a deflected shot from Jordan Clement hit the upright.
The visitors began to get into the game following a 23rd minute drinks break when Sam Griffiths’ header drew a smart save from Jas Singh. The Pitmen continued to apply the pressure with Kieran Wells and Osebi Abadaki switching wings, with the latter forcing a last ditch tackle inside the Tamworth area. Ryan Beswick was booked when he hauled down the advancing Danny Glover, while Ben Bailey, typically influential at the other end, snuffed out a breakaway attack from the home side. Platt made an important tackle two yards from his goal-line to keep the score even at half time.
A flurry of yellow cards disrupted the early part of the second period. Glover, was once again, taken out when lining up a shot from 19 yards. From the resulting free kick Singh made a solid save to keep Glover’s header out. Singh denied Tom Elliott after a powerful run and shot, while at the other end Tyrell Waite just failed to get onto the end of Clement’s low cross from the left.
Abadaki continued to ask questions of the Tamworth defence either side of another drinks break, before the game’s deciding moment in the 78th minute. During an attempted sliding clearance Jordon Gough was adjudged to have handled the ball, allowing substitute Liam Truslove to fire the spot kick past Singh.
Tamworth came closest to equalising when a free kick from Beswick went wide of the far post. With Wells, Abadaki and Izak Reid combining well to run down the clock and create a few half-chances, the Pitmen were able to close out the remainder of the game, including a significant amount of added time, to complete a hard fought and well deserved victory.
Tamworth; Singh, Wilder, Ambris (Hoenes 80), Beswick, Gough, Rowe-Turner, James (Obeng 62), Fry (Yafai 85), Creaney, Clement, Waite. Subs not used; Walton, Howes
Hednesford Town; Platt, Curley, Griffiths, Bailey, Morris, Scott, Gatter (Truslove 57), Abadaki, Glover (Reid 67), Elliott (Ezewele 90), K Wells. Subs not used; B Wells, Veiga