Southern League Central action returned to Keys Park for the first time in 2022 as Hednesford Town faced third placed Peterborough Sports for the third time this season with a score to settle after the two previous encounters in November. Sports edged the first beating the Pitmen 3-2 in a thrilling League Cup game at Keys Park before claiming a comprehensive 4-1 win against ten men at the Bee Arena in the league. The Pitmen, ninth in the table, handed a home debut to recent signing Kyle Bennett.
The Pitmen came flying out of the blocks with intent winning a series of corners in the opening quarter of an hour. It was no surprise when Bennett’s clinical pass sent Chay Tilt gliding into the Peterborough area before coolly slotting the ball past Paul White to give the home side a deserved lead.
Five minutes later a powerful run down the right wing from Riley O’Sullivan, allowed Todd Parker to work the ball across the edge of the box to Kyle Bennett, who swiftly turned and fired an unstoppable shot into the net doubling the lead. A few robust challenges saw Dion Sembie Ferris and Brad McGowan booked for the visitors, while Reece Flanagan saw yellow for Hednesford. Riley O’Sullivan forced a low save from White, while Pitmen captain Lewis Ison made a superb tackle in the box to stop Luke Warner-Eley from getting a shot away.
The second half began with Sports battling to get back into the game, the Pitmen defended well and caused problems on the break. O’Sullivan’s work rate continued to be immense all over the park, and he was unlucky to shoot just wide as his overall performance deserved a goal. The game was decided in the 72nd minute, when Bradley Clarkson made a superb save, allowing George Cater to break at speed down the left wing. Cater’s cross caused mayhem in the Peterborough box, with the visitors unable to clear the danger Chay Tilt looped the ball into the net to kill off the game and take all three points.
After the game Assistant Manager Graham Deakin commented; “I thought we were superb, for long periods we controlled the game, the execution of the game plan was spot on. Peterborough have been in the top four all season and are a good side and at times we made them look ordinary. When we play like this we can beat any team in the league, the lads take a massive amount of credit and so does the gaffer”.
Hednesford Town; Clarkson, Atkinson, Lycett, Riley, Ison, Flanagan, Cater (Armitage 74), Parker, O’Sullivan (Endall 82), Bennett (Landell 78), Tilt. Subs not used; Master, Williams.
Peterborough Sports; White, Jarvis, Herd, McGowan, R Jones, Lawlor, Sembie Ferris, Chong (Hilliard 62), M Jones (Gash 62) McCammon, Moreman (Warner-Eley 6) Subs not used; Fryatt, Keane.