Peterborough Sports were the in-form visitors to the PRG Stadium at Keys Park, an impressive run in the league had seen them rise to second place, while in contrast, Hednesford Town had slipped out of the play-off picture following five straight defeats.
On a wintry night at Keys Park both sides combined to serve up an enthralling encounter that was a great advertisement for the league. It was clear to see why the Turbines had enjoyed so much recent success as they moved the ball around the park with pace, purpose and a seemingly excellent understanding of each other. The Pitmen grafted, dug in when necessary and showed enough quality to match their opponents when it mattered.
Perhaps in an attempt to reverse the fortunes experienced at home so far in 2020, unusually the Pitmen began the game playing towards the Heath Hayes end and occupying the technical area closest to the tunnel. Weathering the early storm from the visitors, the Pitmen produced a couple of long range efforts from Dan Sweeney and Elliot Hodge. The good start was undone in the 26th minute when an unmarked Josh Moreton smashed the ball into the roof of the net to give the visitors the lead.
Nine minutes later, Sweeney played an intelligent ball through to Danny Glover who drove past a defender producing a low finish from the left of the area. The half got even better when a creative pass from Ben O’Hanlon invited Sweeney to make one of his trademark powerful runs at the defence, with his low drive from the edge of the area squeezing past Lewis Moat in goal for Sports.
The second half continued with the same open style of play from both sides. Sports equalised in the 55th minute when Andy Wycherley could only parry a cross from the left, the rebound falling kindly to Maniche Sani who lashed the ball home.
O’Hanlon was booked for a trip on Dion Sembie-Ferris before the Pitmen embarked on an extended spell of pressure. The breakthrough came when Jack Hallahan headed down Callam Mendez-Jones’ delivery into the area, for Glover to volley home his second of the night in the 65th minute.
Peterborough equalised for the second time when Jim Stevenson got on the end of a deep cross from the left, producing a headed finish at the far post with fifteen minutes to play. As both sides searched for a winner, O’Hanlon was unfortunate to clip the heels of Sembie-Ferris for the second time and harshly received his marching orders.
Sports were unable to make the most of the numerical advantage; a superb late tackle from Mendez-Jones was the highlight, as the Pitmen defended resolutely during the closing stages to earn a richly deserved point against a team in contention for the title.
Hednesford Town; Wycherley, Griffiths, O’Hanlon, Bailey ©, Mendez-Jones, Hallahan, Hodge (Reid 90), Thompson, Glover, Sweeney, Abadaki. Subs not used; Hewlett, Gatter, Davies, Veiga.
Peterborough Sports; Moat, Miles, Bucciero, Malone, Jones ©, Lawlor (Johnson 69), Sembie-Ferris, Hilliard (McCammon 56), Vieira (Stevenson 69), Sani, Moreman. Subs not used; Elsom, Jemson
Attendance; 151 and 2 dogs.