Report: City On Point to Draw at Keys Park
The Bank Holiday weekend kicked off for the Dolly Blues with a tough looking trip to the impressive Keys Park stadium on Saturday.
Their former Conference North adversaries Hednesford Town, playing at a ground that wouldn’t look out of place in the football league, sat just two points below unbeaten City in the league standings before kick off.
The game was heavily contested in midfield on what turned out to be an unexpectedly hot afternoon, the weather not enough to keep both teams from producing energetic displays however.
The opening bouts of possession were dominated by the away side without creating too much in the final third. The first couple of half chances falling to the hosts but without coming close to testing Josh Powell in the Lancaster goal.
With set piece delivery in the first half not quite hitting the mark, the best the visitors could muster in terms of goal scoring opportunities was Wills’ header towards the end of the period. The midfielders effort from Scott Harries’ cross looped into the air but fortunately for The Pitmen’s ‘keeper James Wren landed on the roof of the net.
His opposite number Powell did produce a miraculous save to deny Sam Oji from point blank range just before half time. The Town defender wriggled free at the back post to head home a cross but for Powell to palm the effort away to safety with a great reaction save.
The second half began as the first, lots of possession for City without any clear cut chances from open play. The chances they did create were all set pieces. Ryan Winder, who was superb in the centre of midfield, curled a goal-bound free kick towards the far corner that Wren tipped onto the bar just before the hour mark.
It wasn’t too long before City finally got their noses in front from almost the next set piece two minutes later. Winder’s corner was met by the head of Tom Kilifin, only for the striker’s shot to rattle the bar. The rebound fell invitingly for Glenn Steel and a diving header through a crowded box sealed a 1-0 lead for the Dollies.
The lead sadly, and not for the first time this season. lasted just 5 minutes. There was a touch of fortune for the visitor’s equaliser, but one that was probably deserved on the balance of chances created.
Winger Matt Dodds broke down the right wing and crossed in low to Luke Rodgers with striker scuffing a shot across goal that fell kindly to the feet of substitute Danny Glover who tapped home with almost his first touch of the ball.
In the final 20 minutes both sides flattered to deceive with end product in the final third at either end lacking the quality to get the better of both defences.
The final golden chance of the game fell to Phil Brown’s side in the 92nd minute and almost won the game for City at the death. Winder’s corner fell to Ricky Mercer at the back post who, on the stretch directed a volley that agonisingly rebounded off the post before being cleared to safety.
On the balance of play the hard earned point against a well organised opposition away from home will please the Dolly Blues as they remain unbeaten in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.