Hednesford Town victory denied by late North Ferriby United penalty

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Hednesford Town were denied a much-needed home victory when Liam King’s last-minute penalty snatched a point for National League North high-flyers North Ferriby United at Keys Park.

The hosts dominated much of the game, but King’s penalty cancelled out Shelton Payne’s first half strike, leaving Hednesford languishing in the relegation zone.

The Pitmen remain without a single victory against North Ferriby United at Keys Park in the club’s history.

The hosts started brightly, threatening after just two minutes when Shelton Payne latched onto Danny Glover’s clipped pass before cutting in from the left and sending a curling shot just wide of the mark.

The Villagers reacted and nearly forced the opener six minutes later when Ash Palmer’s close range strike was blocked by Ben Burgess’s last ditch challenge.

But it was the hosts who broke the deadlock.

Adam Thomas’s looping cross was tamely punched by goalkeeper Adam Nicklin, with the lively Shelton Payne pouncing to rifle home past the stranded stopper after 18 minutes.

The visitors threatened to equalise just minutes later when Liam King’s fizzing shot was palmed by Town stopper, Dan Crane, who reacted quickly to smother the rebound and thwart a lurking Tom Denton.

It was much of the same in the second half.

United struggled to get a foothold in the game, with Curtis Bateson’s weak, curling shot from the edge of the area being dealt with easily by Dan Crane on the hour mark.

Substitute Adam Bolder came close two minutes later for the Villagers, flashing a free kick from the edge of the area just over the angle of the crossbar.

A stubborn Hednesford carved out few second half chances, but came close after Thomas capitalised on Liam King’s sliced clearance before his teasing cross narrowly evaded the head of substitute Ahmed Obeng after 66 minutes.

Sean Williams stung the palms of Nicklin with a shot from distance five minutes later, before an unmarked Jack Fitzwater flicked Jack Truelove’s pinpoint free kick wide of the mark from close range.

Adam Boulder squandered a glorious chance in the dying moments for United, firing wide from inside the area with just two minutes left on the clock.

But in the 95th minute, Hednesford captain Ben Bailey was deemed to have handled Tom Denton’s fierce strike in the area, and Liam King coolly slotted the resulting penalty into the top corner to snatch a late point for the promotion chasers.

Hednesford will now turn their attention to Saturday’s game against Chorley at Keys Park.

Attendance 251

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