With relegation not yet mathematically confirmed, Hednesford Town met Hitchin town at Keys Park. The Canaries were perched in mid-table, while the Pitmen occupied second from bottom before kick off.
The early exchanges were even with Oli Basey making a fine double save before James McQuilkin shot narrowly wide after a threatening Pitmen break. Harvey Portman forced a fine low save from Charles Horlock as the Pitmen began to control the game midway through the first half. The Pitmen took the lead in the 26th minute when Jordan Graham was played in down the right-hand side by James McQuilkin, with the frontman producing a cool finish past the Hitchin keeper. Hednesford almost doubled their lead on the half-hour mark with player-manager Danny Glover’s low strike going narrowly wide of the upright. The visitors had the ball in the net just before half-time however the referee had already blown his whistle for a foul.
Following a downpour of rain in the first half the second period continued on a very heavy surface. Basey collected a free-kick from Caldicot-Stevens before McQuilkin squared the ball for Graham who sent his shot wide. From a Hednesford free-kick Horlock ended up in no man’s land, McQuilkin attempted to chip the keeper with the ball ending up with Glover whose header went close. In the difficult conditions, the game turned into a midfield battle with the Pitmen battling hard with numerous defensive blocks to keep their goal intact. In the last of 4 added minutes, Hitchin spurned a glorious opportunity to equalise as the Pitmen held on for well deserved win.
Hednesford Town; Basey, Yeomans, Morley, Augustien (Hartley 81), Patterson, Portman, McQuilkin, Parker, Glover (Kaninda 87), Graham, Tilt (Asomugha 90). Subs not used: Sang, Williams.
Hitchin Town; Horlock, Bell, Eadie, Syme (Cawley 81), Morrell, Barker, Wilkinson, Coldicott-Stevens, Hay, Idiakhoa, Allen (Snelus 59). Subs not used; Tearle, Cotter, Miller.
Report by Oli Chamberlain