Hednesford Town returned to league action with an intriguing local derby against Redditch United, hoping to win their third league match in a row.The Pitmen went into the game in 9th place in the Southern League Premier Central with at least three games in hand on every club above them and looking for to bridge the 10 point gap between them and 5th place. Redditch were 16th and three places above the relegation zone with a four point gap. The two teams played out a 2-2 draw at Keys Park in October.
Redditch United 1-1 Hednesford Town
An even first half saw neither side carve out any clear cut chances, with defences on top and both attacks struggling in the final third of the game. Reece Flanagan forced a save from Kieran Boucher with a low shot from a well worked corner. Redditch thought they had taken the lead when Callum Flanagan headed home from a Ryan Edmunds freekick to be denied by the linesman’s flag.
The second half was more of an event with both goalkeepers in the thick of the action, Joe O’Shaughnessy tipping over from Bernard Mensah to deny the Reds. A decisive move saw George Cater through on goal, however Boucher beat him to the ball. Redditch continued to frustrate the Pitmen’s build up play with highly committed pressing high up the pitch.
However the Pitmen finally took the lead in the 85th minute when Carter Lycett cut into the area with a driving run, hitting the post and allowing George Cater to arrive with a finish at the far post. Redditch equalised in controversial circumstances when the referee blocked the defensive run of Cater, allowing a cross to come into the area, with the ball driven home by substitute Ryan Boothe.
After the game a frustrated Keenen Meakin-Richards commented; “The lads work rate in the second half was good, and I can’t blame them for the goal, the referee’s involvement in the build up to the goal was hard to take “.
Redditch United; Boucher, Dawes (Digie 93), Hudson, Soleman, Flanagan, Wollacot, Rowe, Williams (Byrne 68) , Sweeney (Boothe 82), Mensah, Edmunds. Subs not used Cox, Charlton,
Hednesford Town; O’Shaughnessy, Atkinson, Lycett, Riley (Mendez-Jones 38), Ison, Flanagan, Cater, Parker, Landell, Bennett (Hayden 58), Tilt (Ebbutt 75). Subs not used, Armitage, Clarkson