The Pitmen faced the Reds at the PRG Stadium, Keys Park in the Pitching-In Central Premier League three days earlier than scheduled, as both clubs found themselves with a free Saturday due to postponements caused by their original respective opponents’ continued involvement in the FA Cup. Rather than making the trip to table topping Peterborough Sports, Hednesford kicked off at home, in front of another lively crowd, seeking to re-establish themselves in a play-off position against mid table Redditch United.
Hednesford Town 2-2 Redditch United
An uneventful opening 25 minutes saw both sides fail to create any danger. The Pitmen dominated possession but seemed to stall around the edge of the visitor’s area, frequently over complicating promising attacking movements. Former Pitmen striker Dan Sweeney looked dangerous for the Reds but in reality he had very little to feed on.
The deadlock was broken when a superb cross from Shaquille Master on the left found Andre Brown at the near post who hammered the ball into the roof of the net to give Hednesford the lead in the 27th minute. Sweeney should have done better with a chance moments later but placed his shot wide of the post. Just before the break a late foul on Andre Brown by Asa Charlton, resulted in a booking for the vastly experienced Redditch man, with the home support on the Wimblebury Terrace calling for a red card.
Redditch equalised five minutes after the restart when the impressive Tiago Nassuncolo went down in the area after some slight contact by Callam Mendez-Jones, inevitably it was Sweeney who stepped up to score the penalty. Master continued to to be the Pitmen’s greatest threat with a couple of efforts from range forcing saves from Kieran Boucher. It was a pass from Master that set up skipper Todd Parker to drive home for the Pitmen to regain the lead after 69 minutes.
The Pitmen should have wrapped up the win in the 75th minute, when the Redditch defence unsettled by another Master cross conceded a penalty by hauling down leading goal scorer Andre Landell in front of goal, however Landell failed to convert from the spot and add to his season’s tally. The miss proved to be costly when substitute Jade Ferron beat his marker to go through on goal and equalise with seven minutes left. Despite late pressure from both sides the game ended as a draw.
A disappointed Keenen Meakin-Richards expressed his frustration after the game; “I am unhappy with that, we came in at (half time) 1-0 up, missed a penalty to make it 3-1, the way we defended was nowhere near what is needed and we are going to have to make some changes”.
Hednesford Town; J Brown, Atkinson Lycett, Mendez-Jones, Ison, Hill (Richards Tilt, Parker, Brown, Landell (Morley 84) Master. Subs not used Rowley, Burns, Williams.
Redditch United; Boucher, George (Djurovic 43) , Wollacott, Day, Cox, Charlton, Rowe, Sweeney, Nassuncolo, Greaves, (Rankin 69) Jemmett-Hutson (Ferron 78). Subs not used; Roke, Sanogo