The waiting was over as Hednesford Town kicked off the new era under the ownership of Graham Jones and Ade Dando against Stourbridge FC in front of a sell out crowd at the PRG Stadium, Keys Park.
A committed start from both sides saw a dubious decision from the referee giving an early red card to Callam Mendez-Jones, reducing the hosts to ten men, when the defender appeared to win the ball. Greg Mills found the ball at his feet to fire home for the Glassboys in the 21st minute.
The Pitmen fired up by the apparent injustice of the situation, dominated the game following the goal. Danny Glover latched onto a long ball out of defence and bustled his way through two defenders and around the keeper to walk the ball into the net for a well deserved equaliser.
It was all Hednesford from then on, until in added time, against the run of play Greg Mills grabbed his second goal, finding the top corner of the net with a lethal strike from a freekick.
The Pitmen continued to look good for an equaliser with substitute Lee Smith smashing the ball against the bar from Jed Davies’ freekick. However it was Glassboys’ substitute Andre Landell who had the most impact in the second half scoring a rapid brace for the visitors. Firstly slotting home a squared pass with his first touch before adding a second four minutes later with a neat finish from twelve yards.
A gutsy encounter from both sides that was marred by the controversial early sending-off, saw the visitors harshly claim all three points.
After the game Pitmen manager Andy Morrell commented; “You can prep for three months then after five minutes it all goes out of the window. Cal was adamant he got the ball, and from what I remember there were bodies around, so it was harsh. There were key moments in the game; we hit the cross bar which would have made it 2-2 and within minutes we are 3-1 down and it is pretty much game over. I’m delighted, if my lads give me that everytime then we will be alright, we’ll do fine. Disappointed to lose, but I’m really proud of my group.”
Hednesford Town; Wycherley, Griffiths, Lycett, Bailey, Mendez-Jones, Thompson, Cater (Preston 7, Smith 46, Dodds 75), Hallahan, Glover, Davies, Turner. Subs not used; Norcross, Dawes.
Stourbridge FC; Price, Green, O’Hanlon (Bustin 69), Birch, Morris, Brown, Knights, Deeney, Peniket, Brown (Landell 71), Mills (Dwyer 79). Subs not used; Nicholls, Riley.