Hednesford Town travelled to Hertfordshire to face Royston Town in the Pitching In Southern Premier Central League. The Crows have had an unusual start to the season and were winless in the league after drawing five of their opening games and losing one. Despite this record they sat a place and a point above the Pitmen in the table before kick off.
An open first half saw the hosts take the lead in the 14th minute when Joshua Williams was able to tuck away a rebound after Cameron Gregory saved from Brandon Adams’ strike. A quick exchange of penalties added a goal each to the scoreline, firstly Dan Turner equalised from the spot for the Pitmen before Jonathan Edwards replied two minutes later to restore Royston’s narrow lead.
The Pitmen controlled the second half for long spells, putting the home side under pressure, who seemed happy to sit back and defend their lead. A few early chances fell for the visitors with some inviting crosses into the area that no one was able to capatalise on. The Crows remained on the back foot and needed a goal line clearance from James Brighton to preserve their lead.
Royston keeper Joe Welch made two important saves during the closing twenty minutes, firstly a smart diving save before keeping out from a well struck freekick. A weak shot from Williams was the only reply which caused no trouble for Gregory. In the 89th minute a handball in the Royston defence apparently went unnoticed by the referee, who waved away the Pitmen’s strong claim for a second penalty. Royston hung on through extra time for their first win of the season, in a game where the result was harsh on the unlucky Pitmen.
After the game Keenen Meakin-Richards commented; “Fantastic performance from the boys today, we controlled the game and fully deserved at least a point. On the ball brilliant, we just need to cut out the mistakes and we will start climbing up the table”.
Royston Town; Welch, Asafu-Adajaye, Brighton, Bridges, Murray, Parr (Newton 37), Edwards (Culley 69), Scott-Morriss, Adams, Galliford (Rotimi 65), Williams. Subs not used; Green, Newman.
Hednesford Town; Gregory, Mendez-Jones, Lycett, Bailey, Rowley, Flanagan (Davies 76), Allen (Dwyer 70), Hallahan, Sweeney, Dodds (Cater 80), Turner. Subs not used; Cater, Veiga.