Hednesford Town travelled to Leicestershire to complete their Southern League Central campaign against Barwell. Starting the day in 10th place, the Pitmen were guaranteed their best league finish since relegation from the National League North six years ago. Barwell began the day in 17th place, free from any relegation concerns following their 2-0 win at Nuneaton on Easter Monday which guaranteed the Canaries step three football next season.
An end of season goal bonanza began in the fourth minute when Kyle Bennett set up Hednesford skipper Lewis Ison, who stroked the ball home from the edge of the area. The Canaries equalised when a long ball out of defence was flicked on by Tyler Haddow to Ben Stephens who slotted the ball past Oli Basey after beating a defender with some eye catching trickery.
Hednesford regained the lead after fifteen minutes in somewhat bizarre circumstances when a freekick taken by Todd Parker wide on the left, the ball evaded everyone, curling its way into the far post side of the goal. The best move of the game produced the next goal, Josh Webb and Bennett combined to send Leroy Lita into the area, with the veteran striker taking the ball to the left and finishing from a tight angle. Barwell narrowed the deficit when Stephens was brought down in the box by Webb, the Canaries number nine got up to score from the spot.
Early in the second half Josh Webb made amends for conceding the penalty when he was on hand to volley the ball home after Max Bramley parried Ison’s goal bound strike. Moments later the impressive Tyler Haddow latched onto a long ball out of defence and slotted a low shot from a tight angle past Oli Basey.
The intensity of the opening sixty minutes began to take effect on both sets of players at the end of a long season, the final half hour of the game was relatively subdued with chances becoming fewer despite the open nature of a thoroughly entertaining game. There would be no further goals as the Pitmen sealed the victory to secure ninth place in the league with a record of 14 wins, 12 draws and 14 defeats, a solid foundation on which to build next season.
Barwell; Bramley, Stabana, Edwards, Pepe-Ngola, Edjenguele, Brown-Hill (Rowland 53), Warren (Dunkley 46), Brogan, Stephens Hickey, Haddow. Sub not used; Painter
Hednesford Town; Basey, Webb, Portman, Riley, Ison (Hayden 66), Ward (Flanagan 46), Cater (Tilt 77), Parker, Lita, Bennett, O’Sullivan. Subs not used; Ebbutt, Williams.