Hednesford Town put a difficult week behind them as a new era dawned at the PRG Stadium with Danny Glover and Ben Bailey taking temporary charge of the team. The visitors Hitchin Town recently saw a good run of form end last week with a 3-1 defeat to Lowestoft at Fishponds Road. The Canaries were sat in 15th place prior to the game in the BetVictor Premier Central League, eight points behind the fifth placed Pitmen.
The Pitmen got off to a flying start when a free kick wide on the left worked its way through to Osebi Abadaki on the right who advanced on goal before producing a low finish in the fourth minute. An intelligent pass from Glover gave Abadaki the chance to double the lead a few minutes later when he found himself through on goal however Charles Horlock was able to get enough on the ball to divert it away from the net. The Pitmen went close to extending their lead with a chipped effort from Maurice Chambers drifting wide and a looping header from Glover saved on the line by the visiting goalkeeper.
An ugly challenge on Chambers saw the Canaries reduced to ten men as Jack Green received his marching orders just before the half hour mark. With the Pitmen in control and moving the ball around effectively, it seemed as though another goal was inevitable. When it came, it was against the run of play as the visitors’ Alex Marsh broke down the right producing an inch perfect cross for Lewis Barker to produce an unlikely equalizer from six yards out.
The Pitmen retook the initiative at the start of the second half and effectively killed the game off with a quick brace of goals. Firstly a long free kick out of defence from Bailey was flicked on for Abadaki on the right who delivered a cross for Glover to finish at the far post. Before Hitchin had a chance to get a foothold in the second half, another free kick taken short by Tom Fry was delivered into the area by Ben O’Hanlon setting up Pitmen defender Kieran Morris to head past Horlock.
The Pitmen now taking advantage of their numerical superiority controlled the game, maintained possession and looked to add to their goal tally. King, Brown and Bailey all had chances to score, before Andre Brown found the net in the 82nd minute after some excellent play down the right from Matt Curley.
Some careless defending allowed Jamie Jellis to score a consolation goal for the visitors, but it was not enough to spoil a great start for the interim Hednesford Town management team, on an afternoon when the football on display took centre stage at Keys Park.
Hednesford Town; Wycherley, Curley, Griffiths, Bailey (C), Morris, Chambers (Gatter 61), O’Hanlon, King, Glover (Brown 64), Fry, Abadaki (Reid 70). Subs not used; Lycett, Veiga.
Hitchin Town; Horlock, Green, Walster, Rolfe, Phelan, Bickerstaff (C), Barker (Ryan 82), Dhillon (Jellis 58), Hutchinson, Marsh, Bell ( Coldicott-Stevens 63). Subs not used; Gauge, Donelly
Attendance; 314 and Leroy the greyhound.