The Pitmen’s Emirates FA Cup campaign ended with an early exit at the hands of Cleethorpes Town following the weekend’s 1-1 draw at Keys Park. The Owls were the better team over the two legs and deserve the reward of a home tie with Alfreton Town in the next round. The Hednesford Town squad endured a difficult journey to Lincolnshire leading to a delayed kick off, and it was evident in the first twenty minutes that it was going to be a difficult evening with Josh Venney and Loz McKay going close for the visitors. However, it was Andre Landell who opened the scoring in the 32nd minute, giving the advantage to the visitors. Minutes later Landell curled another shot inches wide of the post.
The second half was only 7 minutes old, when for the second time during the tie a Cleethorpes substitute would provide the equaliser, when Tim Lowe headed home the leveller from a lofted cross. A post prevented the Pitmen from regaining the lead, while Alex Flett went close for the Owls. Cleethorpes went ahead for the first time in the tie, thanks to a headed goal from defender Oli Donald in the 66th minute. There would be no further addition to the scoreline, although Brody Robertson perhaps should have done better with an opening in the 82nd minute that would have put the result beyond doubt.
After the game Keenen Meakin-Richards commented; “We have a lot of players out and the journey did not help but we need to be more courageous on nights like this. We were in the first half and went a goal up, we needed to be the same in the second half against a strong, direct team and we weren’t. As a management team we will look at what this squad needs to win games like this.”
Cleethorpes Town; Jackson, Cooke, Walker, Donald, Topliss, Middleton, Flett (c), Venney, McKay, Robertson, Batty Subs: Lowe, Smaller, Oglesby, Stead, Pettinge
Hednesford Town; Wycherley, Webb, Lycett, Bailey, Rowley, Ison, Parker, Richards, Brown, Landell, Chambers. Subs; Morley, Hanna, Griffiths, Wollaston, King-Harmes.