Hednesford Town 2 Needham Market 1 - Report

The new season kicked off at the PRG Stadium at Keys Park as Needham Market made the long journey from Suffolk to face Hednesford Town.

The Marketmen were flying high before the previous season was abandoned and with the Pitmen making significant developments to their playing squad, both sides harboured high hopes for the game and indeed the season ahead.

In the first minute Reece Styche appeared to be felled by the visitor's keeper Marcus Garnham, but to the dismay of the home crowd a penalty was not awarded.

Following the dramatic start the game settled into an even contest with the next opening carved out in the 18th minute as Styche bustled into the area seeing his shot deflected for a corner. Kyle Rowley's header forced a point blank save from Garnham. The breakthrough came in the 43rd

minute following an extended spell of Pitmen pressure, Reece Flanagan's exquisite shot from the right of the area found the bottom corner of the net.

A less than convincing start to the second half from the Pitmen saw the visitor's pull a goal back in the 48th minute through a penalty scored by Luke Ingram. Six minutes later George Cater was felled in the Needham Market area, Reece Styche dispatched the spot to regain the home side's lead.

The game continued at a frenetic pace with both sides going close to adding to the scoreline. Pitmen skipper Courtney Richards put a shot wide while Andre Landell also went close to putting the game out of doubt.

An entertaining end to end game ended with a deserved Hednesford win, with both sides looking like contenders in this year's competition.

Hednesford Town; Wycherley, Mendez-Jones (Griffiths 59), Lycett, Ison, Rowley (Bailey 71), Richards, Landell, Parker, Styche (Brown 75), Flanagan, Cater. Subs not used Hanna, Williams.

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