Hednesford Town kicked off the 2022/23 season with a friendly against a strong Birmingham City XI. The best chance in the opening ten minutes fell to new Pitmen signing Joe Cuff who made a mazy run into the Blues area before firing his shot into the side netting on the wrong side of the post. Moments later Riley O’Sullivan forced a smart save from Oliver Basey. The industrious Cuff created further danger in the visitors’ area winning a corner. Despite the early Pitmen pressure Birmingham took the lead in the 10th minute through Kyle Hurst.
Pitmen skipper Lewis Ison unluckily saw his effort from a corner come back off the post in the 17th minute. Following a foul committed by Ison, Finlay Thorndike hit the crossbar with the subsequent free kick. Birmingham City extended their lead in the 23rd minute with a thunderbolt from Odin Bailey. In the 41st minute Hednesford fell further behind when Josh Andrews headed home from close range. Two minutes later Ison reduced the deficit with a glancing header into the top corner of the net to make it 3-1 to Birmingham City at half time.
Multiple substitutions were made by both sides during the half time break. Two minutes into the second half Birmingham City’s lead was extended by a Trialist. Leroy Lita pulled his shot inches wide after a good attacking move from the home side. Hednesford Town were denied a clear penalty when former Pitmen loanee goal keeper Oliver Basey rugby tackled Lita in the box. On 66 minutes Josh Home’s shot squeezed inches on the right side of the post to make it five for the Blues. Kyle Bennett immediately pulled one back for the Pitmen with a low shot from the edge of the area. In the 71st minute Lita headed home at the far post to make it 5-3. Chay Tilt had a goal bound effort cleared off the line by a Blues defender as a scintillating end to end game drew to a close.
Match report by Oli Chamberlain