BetVictor Premier Central League action returned to the PRG Stadium at Keys Park as Hednesford Town faced Coalville Town for the third time this season and with one win each prior to kick off, the honours were even. The Pitmen fell to their first defeat of the season back in August at Coalville before a home win in the FA Trophy at the end of November.
The Ravens started the game in sixth place with 39 points, one more than the Pitmen who had played a game less. Extra interest was added to the fixture by the decision of defender Kieran Morris to quit Keys Park and join Coalville Town earlier in the week, although he was unavailable to play in this game.
A cagey opening from both sides saw the visitors retain more of the ball in the opening stages of the game without creating any scoring chances. Osebi Abadaki was asking questions of the Coalville defence on the left when the Pitmen had the opportunity to break before Thomas McGlinchey blazed an effort over the bar. The visitors had an early substitution forced on them as Leandro Browne replaced the injured Kalern Thomas after 24 minutes. Danny Glover was unable to get a shot away with his back to goal following a searching cross from Ben O’Hanlon, before substitute Browne forced a good save from Wycherley at the other end.
The best two chances of the half both fell to the Pitmen within seconds of each other when Tom Fry’s shot was deflected over, with James Hurst heading straight into the chest of Saul Deeney from the subsequent corner. Deeney was called into action again just before the break saving a stinging shot from Elliot Hodge after some good build up work from Abadaki.
The Pitmen had the better of the opening stages of the second half, retaining possession for extended spells without producing a decisive ball in the final third of the pitch. With the visitors defending strongly it became an increasingly frustrating afternoon for the Pitmen.
The only goal of the game came in the 72nd minute when Jake Bennett produced a cross for Tim Berridge to bundle home at the near post. The Pitmen were unable to find an equaliser as Coalville ran down the clock taking all three points in a game where a draw would have seemed a fairer result.
Hednesford Town; Wycherley, Curley, O’Hanlon, Griffiths, Gatter, Hurst (Hallahan 76), Hodge, King, D Glover, Fry (Reid 64), Abadaki. Subs not used; Bath, Jones, Veiga
Coalville Town; Deeney, Thomas (Browne 24), Bennett, Towers (C), Taylor, Doyle-Charles, Dean, Shaw, Mitchell, Berridge (McGurk 83), McGlinchey. Subs not used; Bowles, Davidson, McManus