HEDNESFORD came to ruin the promotion party at Solihull Moors on Saturday after coming away from the Automated Technology Group Stadium with a hard-fought and deserved 2-1 victory in the Vanarama National League North, reports John Clothier.
Moors were welcomed out onto the pitch as league champions for their penultimate home game of the season against second from bottom Hednesford who needed to win each of their last three games to avoid relegation, but they came up against a Moors side who were without several first team regulars through injury.
With just four minutes played Bailey tested Danny Lewis and skipper Theo Street was luck to see his flicked header go wide as the visitors made all of the early running.
The Pitmen had another chance on 13 minutes from a corner but Jordan Gough was on hand to clear the danger while Ngamvoulou struck from 18 yards but to no avail.
The Hednesford’s breakthrough came on 17 minutes when Thomas’s initial shot was cleared by Streete but came straight back to him ten yards out and this time he made no mistake by drilling a low shot in the near corner.
Moors looked to find a way back but their finishing in the final third was poor with Akwasi Asante being denied by an alert Ransome while Jimmy Armson shot well over the bar.
Moors had their first shot on goal after good work from Gough and Adam Walker put Armson through but Ransome was equal to it. At the other end Glover had only Lewis to beat near the half-hour mark but Lewis made a great save to deny the Pitmen’s hot shot.
On 35 minutes Asante was first to a through ball and managed to stab it beyond the advancing Ransome but with the goal at their mercy Moors had nobody to capitalise on it.
After they break both Paul Bignot and Steve Leslie were introduced but Moors found themselves two goals down withing five minutes of the re-start as Williams put in a dangerous cross which Danny Glover converted for 2-0.
With 20 minutes remaining Marcus Bignot with his last throw of the dice replaced Asante with the evergreen Darren Byfield.
A great run from the left flank gave Armson the chance to pull the ball back from the goal line but Leslie was too far forward to maximise and his next shot with a minute of normal time remaining was just wide of the near post.
There was one final chance in the third and last minute of added time and it was converted as Byfield slotted home after a goal mouth scramble but it was the penultimate kick of the match and there was no way back.
It was not the performance the supporters had looked forward to following promotion but that did not stop the fans celebrating on the pitch with the players and staff.