Report by Rod Hadley
Mario Pedro opens the scoring
After dominating the first 45 minutes the Pitmen went into the half-time break all square after Halesowen’s Alex Cowley equalised in the 45 minute after Mario Pedro had put Hednesford one up in the 25th minute. The second half was a different story as yet another free header in the box from a dead ball kick gave Halesowen a win which even their ardent supporters hadn’t dreamt possible an hour earlier.
The Pitmen started with the same team and substitutes as last Saturday and right from the kick off they pressurised Halesowen’s goal. Phil Hadland was in excellent form on the left wing and on a number of occasions his link up play with Terry Henshaw saw crosses flying across Halesowen’s penalty area.
Darren Alexander and Ross Dyer were winning all the balls put up to them, both players holding the ball up before laying it back for the midfield to run onto but shots from Sheppard and White went wide or was deflected out for a corner kick.
The Pitmen corners all night were hit short and were a constant source of frustration as it was a waste of the centre backs effort to run up field in the hope a ball might have been hit past the front post. The only corner of note was a first half effort by Tom Marshall whose cross went across the box with Dyer and Alexander just unable to get a head on the ball.
In the 25th minute Terry Henshaw hit a firm pass in to the left hand side channel, Ross Dyer with his never say die attitude got to the ball first and as the Halesowen defender closed him down he hit a firm cross into the six yard box , despite the attention of two defenders Mario Pedro managed to get to the ball first and force it into the net past a helpless Dan Woodhall.
The Pitmen kept the pressure on but a chance from Pedro was saved , Dyers shot deflected for a corner and Screaton’s glancing header went wide. Pedro had to go off for lengthy treatment with concussion after a team mate fell on him and as a result did not come out for the second half.
Halesowen equalised in the last minute of the first half when Matt Lewis broke out of his own half , after passing to Alex Cowley, the speedy winger did not waste the unexpected chance and from just inside the penalty box he slipped the ball past Ryan Young who had come diving out in an attempt to block the shot.
Keenen Meakin-Richards started the second half in place of Mario Pedro and the youngster was quickly in the action with a last ditch tackle in a goal mouth melee to stop a shot on goal but in the 55th minute another goal from a dead ball kick undid all the good work of the first half as Simon Forsdick, the smallest player on the pitch was allowed time and space to head home unchallenged a Lee Williams corner kick.
Darren Alexander squandered a golden chance to equalise in the 60th minute when Phil Hadland crossed into the box only for Darren to side-foot the chance presented to him wide of the post.
Ryan Young did well to tip over a 25 yard shot from Matt Lewis in the 65th minute and the only other scoring opportunity of note for the Pitmen was a Terry Henshaw shot from around 30 yards after Chris White has spotted him free on the left.
The game should have been won in the first half with Halesowen playing the second half for pride but failure to convert the numerous chances made along with another free header in the six yard box will give the team management plenty to discuss at the next training session. It was the first defeat for sometime so its only hopefully a hiccup and that normal service will resume on Saturday when Frickley are the visitors to Keys Park.