Fourth place Hednesford Town hosted lowly Lowestoft Town at Keys Park in a game that youngsters under the age of fifteen were invited to free of charge. The Pitmen were looking to get back on track after two recent narrow defeats on the road at Leiston and Bromsgrove Sporting while the Trawlerboys were looking to win a second consecutive game after beating Stratford Town last time out.
The Pitmen set off at pace and should have taken the lead as early as the fourth minutes when winger Chay Tilt set up Andre Brown, whose shot was parried by Warren Burwood, Andre Landell arrived at speed and was unable to steer the ball into an empty net. Another penetrating run from Tilt caused danger for the visiting defence but this time Carter Lycett was caught offside.
The breakthrough came in the fourteenth minute with a Todd Parker strike from the right of the area giving the home side a deserved lead. An appeal for a Hednesford penalty was turned down a minute later, as the Pitmen looked to apply further pressure. However, the tempo of the game dropped somewhat after the opening twenty minutes, Ryan Hawkins dragged a shot well wide for the visitors during an extended spell of Lowestoft pressure, before a decent move down the right from the Pitmen saw Brown shoot just wide.
Hednesford started the second half well and dominated throughout the subsequent forty-five minutes, Lewis Ison had a goal bound shot deflected for a corner. Reece Flanagan saw a shot charged down, before Ison went close again as the Pitmen hunted for the all important second goal, while Lowestoft rarely threatened the unwelcome possibility of a smash and grab late equaliser hung around the terraces.
Such worries were not evident on the pitch in a professional and assured performance. Finally, the game was put to bed in the 74th minute when man of the match Chay Tilt sent in a fierce cross from the byline for the unfortunate Lowestoft defender Dylan Ruffles to put the ball in the net at the far post to give the Pitmen a deserved win that saw them move into third place.
After the game, Keenen Meakin-Richards commented; “I wouldn’t say it was a relief but it was nice to get three points after the last couple of games and to keep a clean sheet. It was a professional, solid performance and we created enough chances in the second half, the second goal was definitely needed though as Lowestoft moved the ball around pretty well.”
Hednesford Town; Wycherley, Mendez-Jones (Bailey 46), Shergill (Morley 25), Rowley, Ison, Flanagan, Tilt, Parker, A Brown (Rooney 78), Landell, Lycett. Subs not used; Chambers, J Brown.
Lowestoft Town; Burwood, Ruffles, Johnson, Jarvis, Fleming, Knights, Hawkins (Harvey 75), Murphy, Bello (Wilkinson 75), Higgs, McIntosh (Barbor 37). Sub not used; Tann