A new look Pitmen squad with only three players left from last season, Tom Thorley, Jack Sang and player-manager Danny Glover, took to the field at Keys Park for the highly anticipated season opener against Trafford. The visitors were already two competitive games into their campaign, having overcome Golcar United 1-0 after a replay in the FA Cup.
Hednesford Town 1-1 Trafford
The visitors took the lead in the fourth minute when Will Hall headed home from a dubiously awarded free kick. With Trafford playing a direct and physical brand of football, the Pitmen struggled to get a foothold in the game early on. Twenty minutes in the home side began to put together some good moves but were unable to break down the robust Trafford defence. Frustrations boiled over just before the half time break when another contested refereeing decision led to Hednesford Town manager Danny Glover, absent from the line-up through injury, seeing red for leaving his technical area.
The Pitmen came out fired up for the second half, Star Mayemba beat two defenders before shooting over the crossbar. However, the turning point came on the hour mark when Trafford’s Harry Norris, who had already been shown a yellow card for dissent, received his second booking for a trip on Rivel Mardenborough. The deserved equaliser came nine minutes later when Hednesford skipper Sam Griffiths’ header from Jack Kelly’s corner went past Bradley Rose in the Trafford goal. Despite dominating possession for the remainder of the game the Pitmen were unable to break down the resilient Trafford rearguard action, although Mayemba, Mardenborough and substitute Max Dixon all went close.
After the game Danny Glover commented; “I am disappointed, we controlled the game but were too comfortable at times with not enough sharp movement or passes. They had one effort which they scored due to poor defending from a free-kick, we need to be better than that. We will take the draw and we will build on that, we need to have the right reaction against Newcastle Town on Tuesday night.”
Hednesford Town; Crane, Mendez-Jones, Kelly, Martin, Williams, Griffiths, Bower (Dixon 72), Thorley, Mardenborough, Mayemba, Sang (Forbes 63) Subs not used; Andrews, Paddock, Richards.
Trafford; Rose, Brown, Ford, Norris, Hall, Sloan, Rhami (Rhami 72), Belcher, Bentham, Burke (Sandison 66), Dorney. Subs not used; Jordan, Solomon, Babakhani.