The Lockmen fell victim to a smash and grab raid in Shropshire as ten man Haughmond scored a late winner very much against the run of play.
With Asa Charlton returning to the club after a gap of some sixteen seasons, it was The Lockmen who started the brighter when Ryan Ward broke on four minutes before finding Mikey Clark on the right wing, his cross shot had to be touched over by home keeper Sam Jones. Ward attacked again two minutes later but after rounding Jones he was forced wide and he hit his effort wide. The Reds threatened again on eight minutes when Graham Ashton swung a free-kick into the box but it was scrambled clear. Eddie Wynne-Willson then took The Lockmen’s next corner on 12 minutes but this was again headed away from danger by an already overworked defence. A lively move a minute later almost produced a goal. Ward started the move when he was played through the middle before feeding an overlapping Ashton. He brought Alex Carlin into play and his first-time cross found Ward who fired at the keeper. Another Lockmen free-kick on 14 minutes was fired in by Ashton, this time the official relieved the pressure by awarding a foul against a Willenhall player. Willson then curled the next free-kick on 24 minutes just over before Town broke again. Another fine move involving Ashton and Carlin to begin with prised open space for Willson to run and cross from the right, Ward was again on the end of the move but this effort was well blocked by a defender. Dan Williams was booked for a pull back on the ever dangerous Clark on 33 minutes. Willson swung the ball into the danger area where it was headed behind for Craig Stevens to flash a shot wide. The Lockmen won a free-kick right on the edge of the area after Ward was fouled which Wilson curled to the keeper. The home side, who had yet to register an effort worthy of name won their first corner two minutes before the break, which was easily dealt with. Williams, who had already been warned after his booking then produced a nasty foul as the 45 minutes ticked over, again unpunished until he decided to give the official a prolonged foul-mouthed outburst which was deemed worthy of a second yellow card. There was still time for Ward to be played clear and he rounded Jones, this time he rolled his effort a fraction beyond the far post and just too far ahead of his team-mates as Haughmond’s goal had clearly led a charmed life.
The Lockmen continued where they had left off after the break. Eight minutes in Clark went on a swift break, found Ward, who beat a man before returning the ball to Clark but his effort flew wide. Haughmond doubled their tally of corners on 57 minutes to no avail before Asa Charlton was subbed after appearing to tweak a muscle. A minute past the hour and Ward and Clark combined well to cut through the home defence, the former firing a fierce effort into the side-netting again. Carlin broke superbly on 62 minutes but the cross evaded the attackers in the area. Matt Dove then replaced Stevens who had picked up a caution and a knock and his first involvement won a corner when Bryson’s superb delivery picked him out. Ward then saw another strike well blocked before Clark found the side-netting after picking up the loose ball. Matt Dorgan then replaced Ward who had played well without any reward and he nearly reached a tantalising Carlin cross after fine work out on the left by the striker. Another great move on 79 minutes saw Dorgan’s flick header find Clark who put in a fine right wing cross, but Carlin couldn’t keep his effort low enough to find the target. Clark then fired inches wide with ten minutes left. Haughmond finally threatened on 81 minutes, a long ball nearly finding a striker unmarked. When Ashton lost the ball 30 yards from the Haughmond goal out on the left wing there appeared no danger. However, a long ball was launched up field and Steve Hole out muscled the marker to fire home an undeserved goal with eight minutes to play. This fired up the ten men and another long ball almost caught out the visitors again with two minutes left on the clock. James Wilson produced a superb save with his foot, somehow staying upright to deny Hole with a clever piece of keeping after he had been played clean through. Haughmond won a couple of late corners as they run down the clock on the perfect burglary of three points which would have seen The Lockmen second.