The Pitmen faced early season pace-setters Kidsgrove Athletic in an enthralling encounter at Keys Park. The visitors made a strong start to the game and it took the opening ten minutes for Hednesford Town to come to terms with the attacking play of Kidsgrove Athletic. However, the hosts quickly worked their way into the game and Harry Bower went close with a low shot which was saved by Kieran Harrison. The Kidsgrove stopper was on hand a few minutes later to thwart Rivel Mardenborough when the striker found himself one on one with Harrison. On the half hour mark the Pitmen broke the deadlock after the industrious Bower won a corner, from the set piece the ball went to Lewis Wright who offered up a cross to the back post allowing Max Dixon to head home. Sam Griffiths went close to extending the lead for the Pitmen, however Harrison was able to smother the ball before Griffiths could apply a finish. In the 43rd minute some loose marking at a corner allowed Kidsgrove to equalise when Josh Thorpe headed past Dan Crane.
Advantage swung back to the Pitmen early in the second half when goal scorer Dixon turned provider, playing an excellent cross into the area for Rivel Mardenborough to slide in and finish sharply. Kidsgrove began to apply pressure with a high press and created a flurry of chances with the Pitmen stuck in their own half for long spells of the game. The equaliser came in the 71st minute when a strike from Joe Woolley finally beat the Pitmen defence. Kidsgrove controlled the closing stages of the game and again breached the Hednesford rear guard action when a shot from Kieran Knapper forced a save from Crane, however substitute Aaron Bott was on hand to give the visitors the final goal in a 3-2 loss for the Pitmen.
After the game Danny Glover commented; “I am disappointed that, at 2-1, we were unable to see the game out, but we succumbed to the pressure the visitors put us under. I was pleased to a degree with some aspects of the game, we contained them and got to grips with their game early on, but individual errors ended up costing us.”
Hednesford Town; Crane, Wright, Kelly, Martin, Paddock, Griffiths, Thorley (Gwilt 80), Andrews, Mardenborough (Mayemba 76), Dixon (Forbes 64), Bower. Subs not used Mendez-Jones, Richards.
Kidsgrove Athletic; Harrison, O’Riordan, C Lovatt, Bromfield, Jepson, Thorpe (Lycett 46), Knapper, Garlick, J Lovatt (Bott 75), Woolley, Morley (Adu-Gyamfi 83). Subs not used Cadeau, Merill.