Hednesford Town were still looking for their first win of the season as they faced AFC Rushden & Diamonds at Keys Park. It looked like first blood had gone to the Pitmen when Leroy Lita rounded Dean Snedker, putting the ball into the visitors net, only to be denied by the assistant referee’s flag. A Diamond’s corner was headed clear by debutant Keith Lowe allowing Todd Parker to break down the length of the pitch, an excellent defensive tackle halted the midfielder’s progress. The Pitmen took a deserved lead in the 25th minute when a quick free kick from Lita, allowed Adam Livingtone to provide a cross, Kyle Bennett collected a poor clearance and curled a shot around the stranded Diamonds keeper. Before the break Joe Cuff bent a free kick around the wall and inches wide of the post before Snedker got the better of Lita in a one on one. Cuff went close again driving his shot over the crossbar as the Pitmen tried to capitalise further on their dominance.
An explosive start to the second half, after Tiernan Brook’s split the visiting defence with a direct goal kick, Ryan Nesbitt doubled the Pitmen lead with a well taken solo effort . A good team move from Hednesford with Lita and Nesbitt combining created a chance for Parker which was saved by Snedker. Nesbitt set up his strike partner for a tap in at the far post but Lita was offside. The busy Snedker continued to keep the score down saving again from Lita. Diamonds created a couple of chances with a dangerous cross skimming of the head of Nehemiah Richard-Noel and Brooks made a comfortable save from Miguel Ngwa. A four minute hat trick from veteran Leroy Lita in the last 10 minutes settled the game; Lita‘s first, a left footed strike, came from another Brook’s goal kick and some woeful defending. Two minutes later Cuff flicked on Brook’s kick to Lita who drove home from the left of the area. To round off a wretched afternoon for the visitors Lita hammered home his third goal from distance with Livingstone providing the assist. The late flurry of goals not only highlighted the Pitmens’ dominance of the game but gave them a long awaited and well deserved 5-0 win.
Hednesford Town; Brooks, Ison, Portman, Clements (Wilding 67), Lowe, Parker, Cuff (Nabi 87), Bennett, Lita, Nesbitt (McQuilkin 67), Livingstone. Subs not used; Bailey, Clayton
AFC Rushden & Diamonds; Snedker, Bunga, Hughes, Fossen, Akubuine, Richard-Noel (Cooper 88), Hicks, Agemoh-Davies (Worsfold-Gregg 67), Tee, Ngwa, Hines (Connor 67). Subs not used; Pinto-Leite
Report by Oli Chamberlain