A turgid first half gave no indication of the dramatic afternoon ahead. With both sides struggling to make much headway during then opening period, Andre Brown hit the side netting for the Pitmen, while Ryan Hughes bundled the ball into the net for Rushden but the goal was disallowed due to a foul. Todd Parker's freekick from 40 yards, wide on the right, evaded everyone to find the net to give Hednesford a lead in the 38th minute.
In the second period a superb move down the left from Carter Lycett, set up Andre Brown who made no mistake from six yards to double the lead.
An incredible end to the game began when Hughes pulled a goal back with a header from a corner. Two minutes later Ravin Shamsi equalised with an absolute screamer of a shot finding the corner of the net. Things went from bad to worse for the Pitmen during five minutes of added time, Andre Landell missed a close range opportunity before substitute Will Jones headed home a winner from another corner.
Hednesford Town; J Brown, Atkinson, Lycett, Endall, Ison, Richards (Flanagan 66), Soleman (Tilt 62), Parker, A Brown (O' Sullivan 66), Landell, Master. Subs not used; Rowley, Clarkson.
AFC Rushden & Diamonds; Snedker, Casey, Warburton, Slinn, Hughes, Collard, Tshikuna (Diamond 66), Bell-Toxtle, Deacon (Jones 81), Shamshi, Furlong (George 66). Subs not used, Lorraine