Hednesford Town travelled to Hertfordshire as they faced Kings Langley in the BetVictor Southern Central Premier. The Kings starting the day in eleventh in the league, four points and five places behind the Pitmen with a game in hand. Pitmen manager Gary Hayward made three changes to the side that beat Lutterworth 3-0 in last week’s FA Cup tie; with Brad Wells, Osebi Abadaki and Matt Curley starting with Danny Glover, Kris Scott and Tom Fry dropping to the bench.
Both sides had the chance to take an early lead, firstly Mitchell Reiss found himself through on goal only to be denied by a smart save from Pitmen keeper Daniel Platt. Abadaki broke speedily for the visitors before crossing for Kieran Wells who flicked the ball inches wide.
A foul on Reece King in the home area gave the Pitmen the opportunity to take an early lead, however Kings’ keeper Melvin Minter was able to parry Kieran Wells’ spot kick to safety after diving early to his right.
On the half hour mark, Reiss combined with Eoin McKeown to find Max Hercules who saw his shot blocked after cutting in from a wide position. Moments later Kieran Wells’ frustration continued, this time poking a chance inches wide after King floated a ball over the home defence.
James Hurst went into the referee’s book for a high boot and a low effort from Charlie Ruff went narrowly wide of the Hednesford goal as the first half ended goalless after three minutes of added time.
Early in the second half, a trademark Ben Bailey long throw caused panic in the home area allowing Tom Elliott the time to spin and fire the ball in off the crossbar from 12 yards to give Hednesford the lead after 51 minutes. Kings Langley looked to get straight back into the game forcing a fine save from Platt and flashing a shot wide from the corner that followed.
Minter reacted fantastically to tip over a 20 yard curling effort from Brad Wells on the hour to keep the home side in the game. Brad Wells went close again from the corner heading over from close range.
After 68 minutes following a corner from Kings Langley, the Pitmen were able to break up field with Hurst and Elliott combining to play in Kieran Wells who applied the finish from 12 yards that doubled the visitors’ lead.
In the closing 15 minutes, Harry Crawford had an effort ruled out for offside as the home side fought to get back into the game. Kane Farrell prevented Hednesford further extending their lead with a goal line clearance from a corner, before goal scorer Elliott half volleyed just over the crossbar.
Kings Langley; Minter, K Connolly, Farrell, Collins, Adebiyi, Doyley, McKeown, Pattison, Weiss, Ruff, Hercules. Subs not used; Crawford, Victor, Campbell-Mhlope, Coldicott-Stevens, G Connolly
Hednesford Town; Platt, Curley, Griffiths, Bailey, Morris, King, Hurst (Gatter 86), Abadaki, K Wells, Elliott (Scott 90), B Wells (Daniels 69). Subs not used; Glover, Fry