Match Report: Hednesford Town 4-4 Nantwich Town

By James Brown:

Nantwich Town fought back from two goals down twice but were denied all three points at Hednesford Town on Saturday afternoon in an eight-goal thriller.

The Pitmen took the lead five minutes before half-time when Reece King used quick feet to get the better of Troy Bourne before crossing for Kieran Wells to head past Will Jaaskelainen against the run of play after Nantwich had gone close on a number of occasions.

Six minutes into the second half it got that little bit tougher for the Dabbers after James Lawrie fouled Daniel Sweeney in the box and the referee awarded a penalty. Loan man Sweeney stepped up and sent Jaaskelainen the wrong way to make it 2-0.

Nantwich responded to the spot kick almost immediately as two minutes from kick-off the game was back on. Ricardo Fuller held up possession in the box before feeding Jamie Morgan to fire home from close range.

Almost as soon as the Dabbers were on the charge, it was quickly a two-goal deficit again as that man Sweeney was allowed too much space and fired a rocket which came off the underside of the bar and over the line from 20-yards out.

That goal came following a double Dabbers change which would play a big part in the fight back as Luke Walsh and Matt Bell replaced Lawrie and Nathan Cotterell.

Danny Glover was another Nantwich substitute who made an instant impact after coming on for Fuller, latching onto a Sean Cooke through ball and slotting confidently past Kieran Preston in the Hednesford goal four minutes after entering the field of play.

Nantwich found themselves level with 15 minutes remaining after a period of constant pressure. Glover had an effort saved by Preston from a corner, but the rebound went only as far as Joe Malkin who was on hand to tap home.

Moments later the Dabbers could have had another when Malkin did well to turn Alex-Ray Harvey before crossing for an open Glover, but the striker couldn’t time his header.

A lot of the play inside the final quarter of the game was in the Hednesford half with Nantwich piling forward with Glover and Toby Mullarkey going close. The turnaround was complete with five minutes to go from another set-piece. A corner towards the back post fell kindly for Morgan who steered past Preston after the keeper had flapped at the first attempt.

A match filled with plenty of twists and turns had one more left a minute after Nantwich had gone in front. The Dabbers back line switched off from the restart and a long throw from captain Ben Bailey was met in the box by substitute Ben O’Hanlan and headed past Jaaskelainen to earn Hednesford a draw.

Cooke saw a free-kick turned around the post by Preston in added time but Nantwich would have to settle for a point and go again next Saturday when Grantham Town visit The Weaver Stadium (3pm kick-off).

Hednesford Town:  Kieran Preston, Javan Vidal, Nathan Fox, Alex-Ray Harvey, Jon Moran, Ben Bailey (c), Daniel Racchi (Charlie Gatter 81’), Reece King, Kieran Wells (Shane Benjamin 89’), Daniel Sweeney, Jack Hallahan (Ben O’Hanlan 70’)

Subs not used: Jud Ellis, Jose Veiga (GK)

Nantwich Town:  Will Jaaskelainen, Jamie Morgan, Troy Bourne, Joel Stair, Toby Mullarkey, Caspar Hughes (c), James Lawrie (Matt Bell 54’), Ricardo Fuller (Danny Glover 63’), Joe Malkin, Sean Cooke, Nathan Cotterell (Luke Walsh 54’)

Subs not used: Callum Saunders, Joe Mwasile

Attendance: 807

Referee:  Mr Eley

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