Hednesford Town kicked off a run of home festive fixtures with the visit of 1874 Northwich in a relegation six pointer. The Pitmen gave new signing striker Ryan Boothe his debut.
Hednesford Town were slow out of the gate and conceded a goal in the fourth minute, with Jamie Nicholson netting with a low drive. Minutes later Kieran Boucher made a great save from Matthew Woolley’s freekick to keep the deficit at one goal. The Pitmen remained under the cosh in the opening twenty minutes before a neat move from Jai Verma set up Jack Kelly to finish with a thunderous strike from the left of the box. Maxwell Chimenes went close to giving the visitor’s the lead for a second time, but his shot was just wide of the mark. In stoppage time it looked from some angles like Verma may have scored but the ball had gone into the side netting.
The second half was a similar affair with possession fairly evenly divided, however the majority of scoring opportunities fell to the Pitmen. Ryan Boothe curled a shot inches wide for the home team before Joe Morley hit the side netting. A freekick from Jack Kelly went close to giving the Pitmen the lead. Man of the match Jai Verma hit the woodwork twice in the space of ten minutes, each time Northwich keeper Ellis Allen tipped the ball onto the post. Kieran Boucher made a great double save from a Northwich freekick to keep alive the Pitmen’s hopes of securing a win. Verma went close again, and when Ellis Allen was dismissed for the visitors for a foul outside of his box in the 86th minute, a grandstand finish was set up. However the Pitmen were unable to break the second half stalemate and the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
Hednesford Town; Boucher, Yeomans, Kelly, Thorley, Sutton (Thompson 79), Williams, Verma, McQuilkin, Boothe, Brown (Niven 7, Morley (Crook 79). Subs not used May, Gwilt,
1874 Northwich; Allen, Marrow, Fenton, Jones, McCann, Crawford (Birchall 59), Woolley, Chimenes (Adetiloye 79), Weir, Nicholson (Oliver 79). Subs not used Sodhi, Mooney-Munoz