Hednesford Town slumped to a disappointing 4-1 defeat at Stratford Town in the BetVictor Premier Central League. A bright start saw the Pitmen create a couple of early chances for Danny Glover, who was offside, and Kieran Morris coming close to finishing a long throw into the area from Ben Bailey. The evening began to unravel in the seventh minute when Chris Wreh beat Morris on the right wing delivering a cross for Ravin Shamsi to tap home from close range. A similar run from Wreh allowed the marksman to deliver another low ball into the area which Morris turned into his own net to double the home side’s lead.
Despite dominating possession for most of the first half the Pitmen did not create any concrete opportunities to reduce the deficit, Tom Elliott had a decent appeal for a penalty refused while some wayward shooting from Elliot Hodge and Osebi Abadaki continued to frustrate the travelling supporters. Deep into added time, from a corner Ben Bailey bundled the ball into the net from close range just before the half time break.
The second half looked like it would belong to the visitors, with the Pitmen in the ascendency searching for an equaliser. James Hurst should have scored when a precise pass from Ben O’Hanlon found him, while Abadaki was finding room on the left to deliver some useful balls into the Stratford area.
The good work was to be undone with a decisive break from Stratford through Lewis Wilson who finding himself in space, unselfishly squared the ball for the unmarked Shamsi to claim his second of the night. With the hosts, defending deep the Pitmen continued to seek a way back into the game. Andre Brown had a couple of chances, missing one and forcing a great save from Sam Lomax with the other. With the Pitmen committing more men forward, Kyle McFarlane put the result beyond doubt when he broke down the middle of the pitch before tucking the ball past Andy Wycherley.
A below par performance from the Pitmen who despite having the majority of possession were undone by the clinical efficiency of Stratford on the break, scoring four goals from five chances.
Stratford Town; Lomax, Vann, Woollard-Innocent, Richards, Bower, Rowley, Wilson, Oulton © (McFarlane 46). Wreh (Ambris 81), Shamsi (Hylton 89), Nabay. Subs not used. Edwards-John, Bennett.
Hednesford Town; Wycherley, Curley, O’Hanlon (Reid 61), Bailey ©, Morris, Hurst, Hodge (Brown 61), King, Glover, Elliott, Abadaki. Subs not used; Gatter, Fry, Hallahan.