The Pitmen’s league survival hopes took another blow with a disappointing loss away at Hanley Town. A quick start to the game saw the sides exchange goals in the opening five minutes of the encounter. Firstly the hosts took the lead when Luke Walsh whipped a dangerous cross from the left hand side into the area, with Joe Mswalie on hand to apply a good finish. The Pitmen replied within a minute when the ball broke in the area for Rackeem Reid to drill home his first goal for the club to level the scores.
Hanley Town 3-1 Hednesford Town
Hanley went close to adding to the score when a deflected shot forced a fine save from Kieran Boucher. The game nearly boiled over in the 18th minute when a late tackle from the Pitmen’s Max Martin saw Walsh run 20 yards to push Martin to ground. The referee booked Martin first and rather leniently also only showed a yellow card to the fortunate Walsh. The remainder of the half was closely contested and rather scrappy at times. The Pitmen had a decent chance when a foul on Martin led to a freekick which was delivered wide to Jai Verma whose cross was put narrowly wide by Ryan Boothe. A series of corners from Hanley were well defended by the Pitmen as the half time whistle approached.
The second half got off to a quicker start than the first when Kieran Brown drove an angled shot past Boucher in the 47th minute to make the score 2-1. The Pitmen nearly struck back four minutes later when a Jack Kelly freekick was headed onto the post. Hednesford went close with another freekick routine, this time the ball was delivered to Boothe whose header was saved by Adam Whitehouse. A late spell of pressure from the Pitmen saw a few chances created, substitute Joe Thompson fired over the bar before Sam Griffths’ header from a corner was well saved at the far post by Whitehouse. In the 79th minute it looked for a moment that the visitors had scored an equaliser from a corner, however a freekick was given to Hanley instead. As Hednesford committed more men forward an inevitable break from Hanley occurred deep into stoppage time and Kieran Brown was able to bag his second goal of the game to make the final score 3-1.
Hanley Town; Whitehouse, Bostock, Green, Stanton, Stair, Askey, Walsh (Watson 90), Blake, Brown, Dodds (Shotton 83), Mswalie (Jones 64), Subs not used; Grimley, Sanders
Hednesford Town; Boucher, Williams (Thompson 72), Kelly, Thorley, Griffiths, Endall, Verma, Ali, Boothe (Gyasi 63), Reid, Martin (McQuilkin 63). Subs not used; Mendez-Jones, Morley