Official Site report:
Hednesford Town were forced to settle for a point from their opening game of the new season as they were held to a draw against Ashton United at Keys Park.
The Pitmen had no less than six players in their starting XI making their home debut, along with manager Neil Tooth.
After an even start Hednesford almost went ahead in the eighth minute when the ball was played into James Lawrie but his first time right-footed effort flashed across goal before hitting the inside of the post and rebounding to safety.
Two minutes later there were half appeals for a penalty from the Pitmen as Matt Dodd went down before the visitors saw a corner come to nothing and a comfortable header on goal easily claimed by James Wren.
It would be Ashton that would strike first though in the 26th minute when out of nowhere the Pitmen were cut open and although Wren stopped Jack Dyche’s effort, the goalkeeper and two defenders on the line were unable to keep out Matthew Chadwick’s strike.
Hednesford almost responded straight away when Kris Taylor’s free-kick picked out Joe Ballinger but the defender sent a free header well wide.
Back came the visitors and after Dyche had broken the offside trap he looked almost certain to double the lead on the half hour mark only for Sam Oji to get a block in for a corner.
Two minutes later though and the Pitmen were back level when they were awarded a penalty after Lawrie was brought down in the area. Danny Glover stepped up and sent goalkeeper David Carnell the wrong way to open his account for the season.
Five minutes before the halftime break he almost got his second when a miscued Ben Bailey header found the striker but his effort flashed wide of the far upright. In first half stoppage time the striker had an even better chance as he drove forward into the penalty area before firing into the side netting.
Three minutes into the second half Kris Taylor saw Carnell off his line but his effort from fully 40 yards drifted wide of the goal.
In the 56th minute Dyche latched onto a high ball but his first-time effort drifted harmlessly past the post. A minute later the Pitmen broke from an Ashton free-kick and Dodd saw his low effort easily saved.
On the hour mark the away side saw appeals for a penalty turned away when Chadwick claimed he was clipped, while seven minutes later Hednesford thought they should’ve been awarded a second spot-kick when Dodd was felled in the penalty area but again the officials were unmoved.
Glover flashed a half chance wide of the goal in the 75th minute before, at the other end, a ball went all the way across the Town box but was unable to be turned home.
It was Hednesford who ended the game stronger with Jordan Nadat firing an effort over the bar before Bailey picked out Glover but his header went wide of the far post.