The Pitmen travelled to in-form Nuneaton Borough with senior players Leroy Lita and Martin Riley in temporary charge following the resignation of Keenen Meakin-Richards and his management team after Saturday’s defeat against Bedford Town.
Nuneaton Borough 2-1 Hednesford Town
Hednesford Town made a good start to the game, pressing the home side hard and gaining the majority of the play in the opening ten minutes. The good work was undone in the 12th minute when an uncharacteristic mistake defensive error, allowed Tyrell Waite to run in on goal, Pitmen keeper Lewis Gwilliams brought Waite down on the edge of the box. Fortunately, Gwilliams was let off with a booking, however Jaden Charles stepped up to curl the freekick around the wall and into the net to give the home side a lead against the run of play.
The Pitmen equalised within three minutes, Harvey Portman intercepted a pass a Nuneaton pass out of defence, supplied Todd Parker who delivered a pass invitingly into the right of the box for Lita to apply a cool finish. The game settled into a good attacking encounter from both sides, marginally shaded by the Pitmen who were finding success with the defensive line high up the pitch, allowing them to pick up the majority of secondary balls and launch an attack. A turn and shot from Riley O’Sullivan, leaving two defenders in his wake, just before the break forced a superb point blank from Boro keeper Tony Breedon.
The second half continued in the same manner with the Pitmen gaining a greater amount of possession and Nuneaton looking dangerous on the break. As the game reached the final ten minutes Nuneaton delivered a sucker punch which settled the encounter. A diagonal ball into the Pitmen area was collected by the otherwise quiet Mathew Stenson who produced an excellent finish. Hednesford looked like they had equalised when Breedon could only parry Luke Rowe’s driven shot, allowing Numair Rashad to tap in, however the substitute was denied his goal by a dubious offside decision. Moments later Ison’s header grazed the top of the crossbar as the game slipped away from the Pitmen. It was a much improved performance from Hednesford Town, after a difficult start to the season, that did not deserve to come away from the game empty handed.
Nuneaton Borough; Breedon, McWilliams, Charles, Osbourne, Magunda (Rowe-Turner 60), McManus, James (Benbow 65), Dowd (Richards 46), Stenson, Waite, Mancinelli. Subs not used; Master, Noble,
Hednesford Town; Gwilliams, Webb, Portman (Hayden 80), Cameron, Ison, Rowe (Wilding 86), Ebbutt (Rashad 60), Parker, Lita, Bennett, O’Sullivan. Subs not used; Riley, Morley