The Pitmen began a week long trilogy of home games, facing St Ives Town in the Southern League Premier Central, with Royston Town due at the weekend and then Stourbridge on Tuesday. It was a relief to be back at Keys Park after seven games in the last eight away from home.
George Cater had already hit the side netting in the opening minute of the game before Riley O’Sullivan made a sharp turn on the right hand edge of the area before sending a low shot into the net in the 4th minute, giving the Pitmen an early lead. Ives’ keeper Eddie Brearey may have been unsighted by another player, but really should have done better. During a spell of sublime football from the Pitmen it was a mystery how the score remained 1-0, Cater headed over, O’Sullivan drilled a shot into the ground with the ball bouncing over the crossbar, Kyle Bennett finished a great team move only to see the linesman raise his flag, all before the game was 20 minutes old. With the Pitmen totally in control both Cater and Chay Tilt were guilty of over-complicating matters in the box, opting to cross when shooting was maybe a better option.
It was totally against the run of play in the 44th minute when a long diagonal ball put Tyrone Baker into space to score a well-taken equaliser with St Ives’ first notable attack and solitary effort on goal in the half. St. Ives would have been lucky going into the break with a goal deficit, and were lifted by the unexpected goal.
The Pitmen were not deflated and continued to control the game, Brearley made a good save from Cater, Todd Parker fired a shot inches wide before Carter Lycett forced another decent save from the St. Ives keeper, keen to make up for his mistake in the first half. On the hour mark, the Pitmen retained possession, working the ball around the visitor’s area, Bennett delivered a short pass to Reece Flanagan on the edge of the box, who nonchalantly lobbed the ball over the keeper, dropping below the bar to regain the lead for the Pitmen is spectacular style. O’Sullivan, Cater and Tilt all had chances to extend the lead in a game that was far more one sided than the score alone would suggest.
After the game, Keenen Meakin-Richards commented; “The score did not reflect our domination of the game, which I felt we controlled for almost the whole ninety minutes. We carved out plenty of chances after getting an early opener, we should have extended that lead in the first half, and it was frustrating that St. Ives equalised just before half time with their only attack of the game. I hardly had to say a word to the lads at half time, they knew exactly what to do. I think everyone enjoyed Flan’s winner, and the only downside was we did not score more goals.”
Hednesford Town; Basey, Hayden, Lycett, Ward (Portman 74), Ison, Flanagan, Tilt (Webb 90), Parker, O’Sullivan, Bennett, Cater (Smith 88). Subs not used; Richards, Williams.
St Ives Town; Brearey, Flanagan, Solkhon, Williams, Milne, Toseland (Watt 65), Baker, Hotter, Shariff (Osei-Bonsu 78), Aiyelabola (Johnston 61), Cross. Subs not used; Fairlamb, Goff