Hednesford Town travelled to Cambridgeshire to face St Ives Town in the Pitching In Southern Premier Central League. The Pitmen, without a midweek game, had slipped out of the play-off places to sixth. The Ives recorded their first win since August with Tuesday’s victory over fellow strugglers Hitchin Town, keeping them one place above the relegation zone. The Pitmen were boosted by a trio of new signings, defender Josh Endall, midfielder Aram Soleman and the highly rated striker Riley O’Sullivan.
Hednesford dominated the opening quarter of an hour without reward, Chay Tilt and Carter Lycett both had early opportunities to open the scoring, while Aram Soleman had a lively start to his Pitmen career, going close to grabbing a goal before surviving a brutal challenge, which somehow did not result in a red card for the home player. A stray hand in the Ives’ area, gave the Pitmen the chance to take the lead from the penalty spot, but for the second week running the chance was missed, this time by Courtney Richards who hit the bar. The hosts opened the scoring a couple of minutes later when Liam Cross latched onto a deep cross from the corner flag and produced a far post finish past Jono Brown.
Andre Brown soon got the visitors back in the game, beating a defender before seeing his goal bound effort deflected, allowing Chay Tilt to slide in for the equaliser. As half time approached St Ives dealt a blow to the Pitmen when Ed Hotter‘s deflected shot found the net against the run of play ensured that the hosts went into the break with a goal lead.
St Ives managed the second period well for the first thirty-five minutes following the break. The Pitmen became increasingly frustrated as the hosts controlled the game, happy to sit on their lead, while limiting any possible chances for the visitors. However, an explosive final ten minutes from the Hednesford settled the game emphatically. Shaquille Master got the better of the defence forcing a save from Ives ‘keeper Heath, Tilt was on hand to bag his second from the rebound. Master continued to tear up the home defence, putting the Pitmen ahead for the first time in the 82nd minute with an unstoppable shot sparking off jubilant scenes. Substitute Riley O’ Sullivan announced his arrival in style, gliding past defenders before chipping the keeper in added time to ensure all three points went back to Keys Park.
After the game assistant manager Graham Deakin commented;
“It was great character and determination from the lads, I thought it was a good performance. We had belief and just kept going even when we missed the penalty and after the goals we conceded, which were against the run of play. We just kept having to go again. In the final third I thought we were lethal and fully deserved the win.”
St Ives Town; Heath, Agemoh-Davies (Snelus), McWilliams (Milne), Toseland, Solkhon, Hottor, Gordon-Douglas (Hicks), Richens, Shariff, Williams, Cross. Subs not used: White, Nabi
Hednesford Town; J Brown, Atkinson, Lycett, Endall, Ison, Richards (Flanagan), Tilt, Parker, A Brown (O’Sullivan), Soleman (Landell), Master. Subs not used: Rowley, Williams.