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Evo-Stik Northern Premier League


Hardy (59), (72)

Hednesford Town

Glover (52), (87)

(0) 2

(0) 2



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Danny Glover


Witton Albion (A) 31.3.18

The Pitmen once again leave it late to earn themselves a point at Silverlands this afternoon, as Danny Glover's brace cancels out Liam Hardy's two second-half goals to give Hednesford their share of the spoils in a highly entertaining Evo-Stik League Premier game


Hednesford's midweek defeat to title challengers Warrington had taken some of the gloss off their swashbuckling display against Marine last weekend. Manager Rob Smith made two changes to his starting line-up, with Charlie Gatter replaced by the returning Joe Fitzpatrick, who had sat out the last three games due to suspension. Up front, Smith made the bold move of playing both Danny Glover and Joey Butlin, with Butlin coming into the side in place of new signing Jack Rea. James Fitzgibbon missed out due to injury, whilst Jason Law had returned to parent club Mansfield Town after the midweek arrival of the more experienced Anthony Dwyer. Reserve keeper Jose Veiga was lining up for Vanarama National League North side Leamington for the second time this season to provide cover for suspended former Hednesford man Tony Breeden


Buxton's recent form had picked up after the appointment of former Ashton United management duo Paul Phillips and Steve Halford a fortnight ago. They had won two and drawn one of their three games in charge, with Thursday night's 1-0 win over former side Ashton moving the Bucks up to twelfth place in the table


 An early Buxton free-kick from Matt Baker flashed just wide of James Wren's left-hand post, before Dwyer as presented with an early opening for the Pitmen on his second start for the club; a superb cross-field ball from Glover found the winger, who was forced wide of goal by Andy McWilliams. His powerfully-struck shot lacked direction, however, and drove his effort over the crossbar from an angle


Top scorer Liam Hardy had Buxton's first real opening of the game on nine minutes, as his low goalbound shot was blocked by the leg of the impressive Sam Oji


A superb cross-field ball from James Lawrie was brought down by the lively Dwyer on twelve minutes, but the new signing lifted his shot high over the crossbar


Lawrie was the first player to enter the referee's notebook on twenty minutes, receiving a yellow card for an aggressive challenge in the middle of the pitch on Luke Hinsley


Wren was called upon to make his first save of the afternoon midway through the first half, making a comfortable stop to deny former North Ferriby striker Ant Wilson the opening goal


A neat passage of play from the Pitmen on twenty-nine minutes saw Dwyer play a quick one-two with Butlin on the edge of the penalty area, resulting in his low shot being easily saved by Buxton keeper Jan Budtz


Back came the hosts, on a sticky, bobbly pitch affected by the recent weather, with Baker firing in a low shot that was deflected away from goal and out for a Buxton corner kick


Lawrie won a free kick for the Pitmen on thirty-seven minutes, culminating in a booking for Buxton's Joe Maguire. Lawrie sized up the set-piece twenty-five yards from goal, but his curling effort lacked power and was easily fielded by Budz


Wren made a superb stop to keep the teams level as half-time loomed, making a fine stop to deny Hardy from ten yards out, smothering his goalbound shot after the in-form striker had been picked out


In the final minute of the half, Budtz made another stop on his line to pluck Butlin's header out of the air after Glover had flicked on a Lawrie cross into the path of his strike partner


Dwyer kicked off proceedings in the second half with a booking for petulantly kicking the ball away after a foul, which ultimately led to an excellent chance for Buxton in the next phase of play. Hardy was once again involved, forcing the Hednesford stopper into a fine save low down to his right to keep the game goalless


With fifty-one minutes on the clock, Wren was again in action making a smothering low stop in the middle of his goal to foil another Buxton effort from Wilson


This double chance missed was to come back to bite Buxton, as the Pitmen took the lead with their first attack of the second half; a low ball into the penalty area was not cleared by the Buxton defence. Glover seized upon the loose ball and slotted home with a powerful low shot that beat Budtz down to his right and found the bottom corner of the net


With the boost of the opening goal, the Pitmen started to play with more freedom as Fitzpatrick and Tom Thorley both enjoying good possession in midfield. A neat passage of play from the Pitmen on fifty-four minutes saw Lawrie played in down the left, but no-one in a grey shirt was on hand to turn the teasing cross into the net from close range


However, the frail confidence of the Hednesford defence was broken once more, as yet again Smith's men failed to hang on to a lead on fifty-nine minutes. A ball over the top of the Hednesford defence saw Hardy get goal side of Callam Mendez-Jones, and with the Hednesford defence all appealing for offside, Hardy slotted past Wren from an inside-left position to equalise


Fitzpatrick - who was lucky not to pick up a yellow card in the first half for a high challenge - finally got his name taken on sixty-two minutes following one tackle too many


 A superb inswinging corner from Lawrie on sixty-four minutes found the head of Glover, but the Hednesford goalscorer could not direct the ball goalwards and headed wide of goal


A weak effort from Lawrie on seventy minutes wasted a good opening for the visitors, as Glover's lay-off to the midfielder was pulled wide by Lawrie with a bobbled effort


 A topsy-turvy game - which had been a great advert for step three football - swung the way of the hists for the first time in the afternoon on seventy-two minutes. An inswinging corner kick from the right was glanced on to the far post, where Hardy was lurking to head home for his 100th goal for the Bucks


The Pitmen made a double change before the restart, with Jordan Graham replacing Thorley and Jack Rea coming on in place of Butlin. Graham's arrival pushed Dwyer into a more central role, with Rea replacing Thorley in a like-for-like swap in central midfield


Glover thought he had levelled matters once more for the Pitmen on seventy-five minutes, as he lashed home a loose ball following a Fitzpatrick shot that appeared to be deflected off a Buxton defender and into his path. However, the offside flag denied Glover a second goal of the afternoon, despite his celebrations


Buxton took advantage of the Pitmen pressing higher up the park and almost caught the away side cold on eighty-three minutes, but substitute Alistair Taylor fired over the crossbar with a great chance from the edge of the Hednesford penalty area


Once again, this was to be a turning point in the game, as the Pitmen came roaring back with a dominant final ten minutes. On eighty-seven minutes, the Pitmen got the equaliser their efforts deserved, as Lawrie and Glover combined once more, with Glover doing enough to force the ball past Budtz from twelve yards out with a low, scuffed shot


Having played on Thursday night, Buxton were starting to show signs of fatigue in the closing stages, with the Pitmen pushing them into their own third for much of the final minutes. Lawrie lifted an effort just over the crossbar on eighty-nine minutes, before Glover had a glorious chance to win it for the Pitmen in added time as he drilled a low shot straight at Budtz from close range after being played in on the left-hand side of the penalty area


A frantic final three minutes of added time saw the superb Oji presented with a chance to shoot, but at the crucial moment the big centre-back felt his hamstring go and the chance was lost as he failed to connect with the shot


 In many ways, this was an exact replica of the away game at Stalybridge Celtic a month ago, with the Pitmen showing spirit to come back to claim a draw, despite taking the lead. The lack of mental toughness in defence continues to be a concern, especially when the Pitmen take the lead in games, as they seem incapable of holding onto a lead and seeing a game out at present. The form of Glover in recent games has been a real positive for the Pitmen, and he will look to add to his recent goal tally when the Pitmen are on their travels once more next week, visiting Witton Albion's Wincham Park for the first time in nine years looking to build on this well-earned point


Buxton: Budtz, Meade (Oyibo 56), McWilliams, Maguire , Degirolamo, Ravenhill © (Taylor 67), McGee, Hinsley, Wilson (Broadhead 80), Hardy, Baker     Unused Subs: Doran, Grayson


Hednesford Town: Wren, Mendez-Jones, Curley, Bailey, Oji, Fitzpatrick , Dwyer , Thorley © (Graham 73), Butlin (Rea 73), Glover, Lawrie      Unused Subs: Harris, King, Gatter

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