Hednesford Town 2 Lowestoft Town 1 – More pain on the road for Trawlerboys despite rally
- Credit: Michael Sedgwick/Focus Images
A late Lowestoft revival proved insufficient to earn the Trawlerboys a share of the spoils in Staffordshire.
Goals either side of half-time put the home side in a strong position but Ady Gallagher's side finally came good in the final stages and had a number of chances to snatch a draw after Jake Reed had reduced the arrears 20 minutes from time.
There had been little to choose between the sides in the opening half-hour; plenty of endeavour but both sides lacked the killer touch in front of goal.
Lowestoft's best chance fell to Reed who dragged a shot across the face of goal while Harry Burgoyne was hardly troubled in the visitors' goal.
On 34 minutes, home keeper Dave Parton failed to gather a free-kick and when Jack Ainsley steered the ball back into the mix, Erkan Okay struck, only to see his shot blocked by a defender.
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Instantly, the Pitmen broke upfield with livewire striker Ahmed Obeng weaving his way to the edge of the area where he was brought down by Ainsley. The Lowestoft wall looked to be in the perfect position but Sean Williams still found a way around the outside with a shot that flew past the unsighted keeper.
Boosted by the goal, the home side pressed for a second and it needed a saving tackle from skipper Rossi Jarvis to keep out Nathan Modest two minutes before the break before Obeng volleyed an effort just wide moments later.
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It was the home side who continued to dominate at the start of the second half and three minutes after the restart Burgoyne kept his side in the game with a fine double save. Obeng turned defender Adam Smith inside out only for his shot to be saved. The rebound fell to Modest but again the Lowestoft keeper was up to the task.
Two minutes later and with his defence in disarray, Burgoyne brilliantly pushed a Phil Trainer header onto the post, only this time he was helpless to stop Tom Thorley from volleying in the rebound from close range.
Two goals down, Gallagher sent on substitute Danny Crow and the forward steadied the ship as the Blues began to get a foothold in the game.
Reed began causing problems and only a last-ditch tackle from Hednesford scorer Williams kept him at bay midway through the half.
Moments later a Smith ball to the far side of the area was headed into the danger zone by Dan Gleeson only for the Hednesford defence to clear.
Reed finally pegged a goal back on 70 minutes, quickly breaking from his own half following a corner at the other end. He skipped past two defenders and the keeper before rolling the ball into the net.
Harry Barker and Shaun Bammant joined the fray and there were chances to level in injury time but Ryan Jarvis fired over the target with the hard-working Ainsley also lifting his shot over the bar.