Official Site Report:
Hednesford Town's best start to a season since 1978 came to an end as Kendal Town captain Marc Joseph headed a late winner to settle a hard fought and enthralling game at the top of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division.
Both sides sat in the top echelons of the league table at the start of the day and neither gave an inch in a fiercely competitive match.
Chris Clements and Jay Denny covered a great deal of ground in the Hednesford midfield during a first half when both teams threatened periodically.
Clements curled a shot inches wide of Craig Dootson's left hand upright on sixteen minutes as Marvin Robinson caused problems for the home sides' defence.
Kendal also looked dangerous as Danny Wisdom twice shot at goal and Ciaran Donnelly saw his long range attempt fizz a foot wide of Crane's post.
Danny Quinn latched onto a perfectly weighted Clements through ball and forced Dootson to save with his legs as both teams kept up a frenetic pace.
Danny Williams looked like Kendal's most dangerous player but committed right-wingback Kyle Haynes did well to man mark the tricky left winger for the away side.
The Pitmen started the second period in the ascendency and threatened as both Quinn and Pedro Monteiro headed wide inside the hour mark.
The opening goal came as Kendal had worked their way back into the game and the previously quiet Mark Jackson caught Darren Campion square for the only time in the match, skipped beyond the challenge and crossed for Williams to nod the ball beyond Crane on seventy-four minutes.
Hednesford moved to 4-4-2 after the goal and Jamey Osborne, fresh from a late winner against Chester last week, equalised with his first touch six minutes from time as his shot bobbled past Dootson.
The Pitmen's joy was short-lived as on the stroke of ninety minutes, a curled free kick by Kieran Walmsley found Joseph free to power his header past Crane.
The Hednesford travelling supporters had a shout for a penalty in the last minute as Robinson looked to have been impeded when challenging for an aerial ball but the Lake District side held on.
The Pitmen will no doubt be disappointed to have lost their first game of the season and certainly did enough to warrant a draw but have an ideal opportunity to take out that frustration on their fierce local rivals, Stafford Rangers, as the two sides clash at Keys Park on Bank Holiday Monday.