Hednesford Town 0, Needham Market 1 - Report

The Pitmen's BetVictor Southern League Central fixture against Needham Market FC earned its place in the history books as the first ever meeting between the two sides.

Hednesford Town 0, Needham Market 1
Hednesford Town 0, Needham Market 1

In-form Hednesford Town went into the game full of confidence following three consecutive wins without conceding a goal. The Pitmen were further buoyed by the return of last season's Player of the Year Reece King who had rejoined after signing for Leamington FC during the summer. The Marketmen made the journey from Suffolk, sat in 14th place after five games.

A lively opening 15 minutes saw a number of chances come and go for the hosts, with Liam Truslove shooting over in the first minute. Marcus Garnham saved a sweetly struck shot from Ben Bailey following a corner. Osebi Abadaki sent a shot just wide after a dangerous run on the left, before seeing another effort blocked moments later. Kieran Wells headed a Kris Scott freekick wide, while the visitors moved the ball around purposefully without creating any clear cut chances.

The visitors struck first in the 17th minute when the Pitmen defence failed to deal with a cross from the left, allowing Luke Ingram in to finish from close range. The game descended into a rather scrappy affair as the Pitmen tried to get a foothold back in the game.

After a decent spell of Pitmen pressure, Danny Glover headed just over a long throw from Bailey.

An off the ball incident just before half time saw bookings for Needham Market's D Morphew and Parker while Hednesford's Glover also went into the referee's book.

Abadaki continued to look like the Pitmen's most likely way back into the game with the visitors content to soak up the host's pressure and attack on the break when the opportunity arose, leading to a couple of corners early in the second period. A threatening break by Wells was ended as Sam Squire pulled the striker down and was subsequently booked for his actions. A cross from the right by Louis Ezewele appeared to be passed back to Garnham by a defender but much to the frustration of the home nothing was awarded.

Reece King joined the fray on the hour replacing the injured Kieran Wells. The home side retained the bulk of possession and buzzed around the Needham half with the visitors able to keep them largely at arm's length, with Truslove firing a freekick straight into the defensive wall.

Needham Market had the opportunity to put the result beyond doubt but Luke Ingram dragged his shot wide. The last chance of the game fell to the home skipper Bailey, as the ball fell to him in space just outside the area, however his shot was inches wide of the left post.

Attendance 461

Hednesford Town; Platt, Curley (Ezewele 34), Griffiths, Bailey, Morris, Scott, Truslove, Abadaki (Reid 81), Glover, Elliott, K Wells (King 60) . Subs not used Gatter, B Wells.

Needham Market; Garnham, Dye, Sturgess, Short, K Morphew, D Morphew, L Ingram, Squire, Neal (N Ingram 80), Parker, Marsden. Subs not used, Collard, McLaughlin, Baker, Shorten

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