In the 19th century Redditch was the international centre for the needle industry, producing 90% of the world’s needles but some years later it was Hednesford who came back from the Trico Stadium with three points …
The Pitmen were forced to shuffle their back four with Ben O’Hanlon serving a one game ban. Charlie Gatter came in to partner Ben Bailey in central defence with Callam Mendez-Jones moving to right back and Sam Griffiths to left back. Tom Hewlett replaced a not fully fit Danny Glover up front while Izak Reid was missing due to illness. Redditch included former Pitmen Rudy Misambo and Romario Martin in their starting line up while Duane Darby who made two appearances for Hednesford back in 2009 took his place in the home dugout.
It was a slow start to the game, the first action coming when Andy Wycherley saved a Randane Larmond header. Following a collision between two home players, the referee restarted the game by giving the ball to Ryan Pratt in the Redditch goal. The visitors were finding it difficult to adjust to the bounce of the ball on the 3G surface and it was the home side who forced a succession of corners which came to nothing. Hednesford’s first chance saw a Hewlett shot straight at Pratt before Griffiths made a great run from his own half, being brought down by Hussain on the edge of the box. Unfortunately, Dan Sweeney put the free kick high and wide. Elliot Hodge brought a good save from Pratt and good work from Sweeney ended with his shot being charged down. Mendez-Jones was booked after a foul and Hodge won another free kick which he put into the side netting before Redditch again forced a succession of corners which again came to nothing.
Hednesford kicked off the second half and started on the front foot. Hewlett was pivotal at this point, blasting over from an offside position and being unable to get on the end of a couple of Jack Hallahan passes. Rhys Thompson shot straight at Pratt after a great run before Sweeney’s free kick was acrobatically tipped over the bar by the ‘keeper. On 52 minutes Redditch replaced Misambo with Charles Wilson. A poor challenge on Mendez-Jones earned the visitors another free kick. Hodge took it and it was headed behind by a home defender only for the referee to give a goal kick. Hewlett’s shot was agonisingly wide for Hednesford and this was to be his last contribution as he was replaced by Glover in the 69th minute, Justice Campbell coming on for Hussain for Redditch two minutes earlier. It was all Hednesford now and Pratt in the home goal was booked for time wasting. However, the Reds had a great chance to take the lead when Martin broke free only to see Wycherley save with his legs. This was to prove even more costly as in the 88th minute Hednesford scored the winner following the best move seen all afternoon. Glover held off a defender on the halfway line, found Hodge whose cross-field pass played in Rhys Thompson on the left. The midfielder controlled the ball, took it on and finished well past Pratt.
Redditch United: Pratt, Kennedy-Williams, Endall, Birch, Misambo (Wilson 52), Rehman, Hussain (Campbell 67), Rankin (Capt), Martin, Larmond, Traore.
Subs: Marusiak, Moyo, Koneth
Hednesford Town: Wycherley, Mendez-Jones, Griffiths, Bailey (Capt), Gatter, Hallahan, Hodge (Davies 89), Thompson, Sweeney, Hewlett (Glover 69) Abadaki .
Subs (not used): Fry, Veiga.