Express & Star

Hednesford Town 0 Bootle 1 - Report

The final game of the season saw Hednesford Town face promotion chasing Bootle, knowing that a win and a complicated set of results elsewhere could lead to an unlikely reprieve from relegation.


The game kicked off half an hour late due to Bootle having difficulties on the M6, and the Pitmen started the game the quicker of the two sides. Jack Kelly fired a free kick straight at Tony McMillan in goal for Bootle, before a corner was eventually cleared. It took 20 minutes for the visitors to get going when Ben Hodkinson fired narrowly wide for Bootle. The best chance of the first half fell to the Pitmen when Jai Verma hit the ball with venom, to see his shot come back off the upright. Minutes later James McQuilkin went inches wide for Hednesford. A great lay off by Jake Jervis presented a golden opportunity to Lewis Farmer whose shot was high and wide. A couple of great saves from Ryan Brown before the break kept Bootle at bay as the first half finished goalless.

The second half was only a minute old when Bootle broke through to take the lead, the Pitmen were slow to clear a ball into the box which was reworked to the far post allowing Ben Hodkinson to slide in and poke home. Jervis appeared to be brought down in the area for the Pitmen however a penalty was not awarded as the Pitmen struggled to get back into the game. Verma shot high and wide for Hednesford as Bootle controlled large periods of the half. A series of substitutions and bookings punctuated the half and it was only during time added on that the Pitmen carved out a chance to equalise. Jai Verma sent in a dangerous cross however Jervis headed over from close range. Bootle saw out the game to confirm their place in the play-offs.

Hednesford Town; Brown, Rowe, Kelly (Bailey 80), Thorley (Edwards 65), Williams, Griffiths, Verma, McQuilkin, Jervis, Farmer, Morley (Barnes-Homer 72). Subs not used; Gwilt, Moke.

Bootle; McMillan, Roberts, Smith, Hughes, Sephton, Sutton, Hilton (Carney 75), Woolley, Peterson (Miley 84), Burkey, Hodkinson (Harwood 79). Subs not used; Carberry, Burton.