Hednesford Town 2 Lowestoft Town 1 - Report
A second half penalty from the returning Danny Glover saw Hednesford Town record all three points in their opening league game of the season against Lowestoft Town.
Hednesford handed no less than five debuts to new arrivals as the Pitmen embarked on their first ever game in the Southern Premier Central following their switch from the Northern Premier League.
The hosts should really have been ahead after just two minutes when the ball found its way to Brad Wells who with only goalkeeper Luis Tibbles to beat saw his effort blocked away from 12 yards out.
Six minutes later a cross into the box found its way to the host’s Tom Elliott but he skied his effort well over the crossbar.
The good start continued when Ben O’Hanlon cut inside before curling a 20-yard effort inches wide of the post after ten minutes.
Another good chance came the way of the Pitmen in the 22nd minute when a Ben Bailey deflected effort found its way through to Kieran Wells but he lifted his effort over the crossbar with just Tibbles in his way.
Hednesford’s breakthrough would arrive ten minutes later though when a long throw from Bailey was flicked on to Jack Hallahan who was able to control the ball before firing low into the bottom corner from 12 yards out.
Their lead would last just six minutes as the visitors were awarded a penalty which Connor Deeks fired low into the bottom corner of the net despite Hednesford goalkeeper Daniel Platt going the right way.
Right on the stroke of halftime there were calls for a red card as Brad Wells was taken out by Adam Tann when through on goal, but a yellow card was all that was given.
The second half saw Lowestoft start on the front foot and Platt was called into action to make a fine save from Shaun Bammant in the 51st minute.
Just a minute later a slip at the back let Jake Reed in but the visiting striker fired wide with just Platt to beat.
The Pitmen goalkeeper was called into action again on the hour mark when good work by the visitors saw Jacek Zielonka in behind the home defence but his shot was superbly parried away.
In the 73rd minute Lowestoft were denied again when Reed broke into the box but Bailey was on hand to make a superb last-ditch tackle.
This proved crucial as three minutes later the Pitmen were awarded a penalty when Brad Wells was hauled down. Substitute Glover stepped up and converted from 12 yards despite Tibbles getting a hand to it.
The visitors pushed hard for an equaliser in the final ten minutes with a header cannoning back off the Pitmen crossbar from a corner before the hosts broke and Elliott fired over the goal.
In the final minute of stoppage time there would be one last chance for Lowestoft but Platt was able to gather Bammant’s headed effort in order for the Pitmen to claim all three points.
Hednesford Town: Platt, Curley, O’Hanlon, Bailey, Morris, Scott (Gatter 80), Hallahan, Elliott, K Wells (Glover 59), Daniels (Evans 61), B Wells
Subs not used: Abadaki, Reid
Lowestoft Town: Tibbles, Curry, Wilkinson (McIntosh 89), Jarvis, Tann, Deeks, Zielonka, Fisk, Reed, Bammant, Williams (Cole 67)
Subs not used: Blowers, Richardson, Wilkinson