Hednesford Town faced Chasetown at Keys Park for a Bank Holiday derby in the NPL West division in front of a crowd of 1486 . After a promising start to the league campaign the Pitmen had faltered, losing their last two league games including Saturday’s painful 5-1 defeat at Widnes. Chasetown in contrast were undefeated and in second place following their 1-0 win against Vauxhall Motors.
Hednesford Town 1-1 Chasetown
A frenetic opening 15 minutes, as would be expected in a local derby saw no clear cut openings as the teams exchanged corners and half chances. In the 16th minute some productive work down the left from Jack Sang set up Jacob Gwilt inside the area to power home a thunderous shot to give the Pitmen an early lead. As the Pitmen sought to increase their advantage, an injury to Callam Mendez-Jones forced a tactical re-think as he was replaced by Harry Bower and goal scorer Gwilt moved to right back.
A missed tackle on the right hand side allowed Chasetown back into the game when a run from Jayden Campbell ended with a precise cross coming in for Ryan Nesbitt to finish past Jack Richards in the 34th minute. During added on time in the first half Max Dixon was felled in the Chasetown area, however the referee chose not to award a penalty.
Early in the second half Rivel Mardenborough had a shot cleared off the line for Hednesford. Another claim for a penalty to the Pitmen came and went as Sang went down in the box. The game continued at an up tempo pace with neither side taking full command in an end to end encounter. Sang turned in the box sharply but his shot went straight at Bradley Clarkson. Man of the match Max Dixon also went close for the Pitmen forcing an impressive save from Clarkson. There would be no more goals in a hard fought game, with neither side able to conjure up that bit of magic to take all three points and local bragging rights.
After the game Danny Glover commented; “I expected a response from my players, I wanted them to out work Chasetown and make it difficult for them with pressure. We needed to roll our sleeves up and show you the fans that we have what it takes to fight and battle for the points. I felt to a man they all achieved this today. Once again a big thank you for the support and for sticking with us.”
Hednesford Town; Richards, Mendez-Jones (Bower 32), Kelly, Martin, Paddock, Griffiths, Sang, Gwilt, Mardenborough (Butler 83), Mayemba, Dixon. Subs not used; Glover, Andrews, Coleman
Chasetown; Clarkson, Melbourne, Evans, Taylor (McGinnell 45), Unwin, Wilding, Campbell (Atherton 63), Langston, Nesbitt (Lund 63) O’Callaghan, Yates. Subs not used; Turton, Shaw.