28.9.2013

F.A. Cup 2nd Qualifying Round

AFC Telford United

Booth (52)

Hednesford Town

Durrell (55), (88), Rey (79)

(0) 1

(0) 3

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

1,345

Aaron Rey

W W W D W L W W W W

Gloucester City (H) 5.10.13

Hednesford marched confidently into Monday's third qualifying round draw courtesy of a historic first-ever cup win at local rivals AFC Telford United this afternoon

The Pitmen arrived in Shropshire off the back of three successive wins in Skrill North so far this month, with former Telford man Elliott Durrell continuing his fine goalscoring form from August in the process. Former Telford manager Smith - in his first competitive game at the New Bucks Head since being shown the door by United in 2010 - made two changes to the side that had held on to all three points the previous week at Guiseley, with Francino Francis coming back into the side ahead of the cup-tied Matthew Regan and Alex Melbourne replacing Dave MacPherson in midfield. Michael Lennon and Wayne Riley were both deemed fit enough to take their places amongst the substitutes

Telford manager Liam Watson had overseen a massive overhaul at Telford since taking over this summer, making fourteen signings in a bid to turn the relegated Bucks' fortunes around. Former Hednesford keeper Ryan Young was one of only two players retained from last season's squad that had finished bottom of the Blue Square Bet Premier

In front, of what was, frankly, a disappointing turnout from the home fans, it was the Pitmen who nearly took the lead with the first attack of the game. A break down the Hednesford right saw the ball played into Jamey Osborne, whose low drive was turned away from goal by Young. The rebound fell to Durrell, whose shot skewed well wide of goal

Telford struggled to get a foothold in the game during a quiet opening phase of the game, with the Bucks heavily reliant on set-pieces to test the resolve of Francis and in-form central defensive partner Ben Bailey

Neil Harvey - a goalscorer at Guiseley last week - went close to opening the scoring on eleven minutes, firing narrowly wide of Young's left-hand post with a snapshot

Midway through a keenly fought first half, Young was again called upon to make a straightforward save to deny Osborne again, as the midfielder fired his left-footed shot straight into the arms of the Telford number one

The Bucks' first real chance of the game arrived on the half-hour mark as a long, hanging free-kick from Andy Owens found the head if Neil Byrne, who beat Dan Crane to the high ball and headed goalwards. Hednesford skipper Darren Campion was alert to the danger and responded quickly to drop back to hack the ball off the line and away

A minute later, a superb cross from the Telford left was inches from being converted by Adam Farrell, who just failed to get his head to the ball as it flashed across the face of goal

Despite Telford having the two best chances of the half to date, it was the Pitmen who could have gone into the half time break a goal to the good, as former Telford man Kris Taylor went agonisingly close to opening the scoring on forty-one minutes. A beautifully lofted free-kick from the former Walsall man beat the Telford wall and left Young stranded as it curled towards goal. To Young's relief, however, the ball came back off the outside of the post and drifted out of play

The Pitmen made a positive start to the second half, with Durrell having a powerful low shot deflected away from goal in the half's first attack. From the resultant Taylor corner, Bailey powerfully headed the ball wide of goal at the near post as he rose unchallenged

The Pitmen were dealt a blow on fifty-two minutes, as Telford took the lead in spectacular style through Robbie Booth. Osborne paid the price for trying to play his way out of defence on the edge of the area, losing the ball after being closed down by tow Telford players. Booth seized upon the loose ball and shimmied his way into the penalty area before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the far top corner of the net to give United the advantage

Roared on by the big, vocal following behind Young's goal, Hednesford produced an instant response to going behind through that man Durrell. Placing a free-kick down twenty-five yards out, to the left of the penalty area, Durrell struck a perfectly executed drive past the despairing dive of Young, beating the Telford keeper with a low shot into the far corner of the net

Rey had impressed throughout the game, using his pace and trickery to give the Telford defence the runaround. A superb piece of skill down the left wing saw the striker turn his marker inside out with his quick feet, but ran the ball out of play before he could square the ball into the path of striker partner Harvey

Crane made a brave save to keep the scores level on the hour mark, as a flick on by Farrell found Mike Phenix in the box. Crane was quickly off his line to deny the forward a shot on goal, smothering the ball away for a Telford corner

Byrne followed Young into the referee's notebook on sixty-three minutes, as he purposely blocked Crane as he looked to quickly clear the ball for the Pitmen. Two minutes later, a ball from Charlie Barnett found Tony Gray unmarked on the edge of the box, but his effort was high and wide of goal

The Pitmen decided to introduce the wily old veteran MacPherson in place of the younger legs of Melbourne with thirteen minutes remaining, giving the Hednesford midfield bite and also taking pressure off Osborne, who had looked off the pace throughout the second half

With eleven minutes remaining, the Pitmen took the lead for the first time in the game, with Rey grabbing the crucial goal that his efforts merited. Durrell whipped in a tempting cross from the left, which Rey managed to nip in and loop a backward header over the head of Young - who appeared caught in no man's land six yards from goal

In an attempt to tie the game up, Rey was sacrificed by Hednesford a minute later as they introduced Robbie Thompson-Brown wide on the right-hand side

A quick counter-attack from the Pitmen on eighty-five minutes saw Durrell dart clear of a retreating Telford defence, but his shot lacked direction as he curled his effort just wide of Young's goal

Perhaps it was fitting that it was Durrell who had the final say in the game with two minutes left, as the midfielder sealed Hednesford's passage into the next round with his second goal of the afternoon. Placing another free-kick down in a similar position to the one that led to his first goal, Durrell fired another powerful low shot in at goal, with this effort taking a deflection off the heel of Byrne before beating Young at his far post once again

To see out time, the Pitmen made their final substitution of the game after Durrell's goal - Harvey was replaced by Lennon up front, making his first appearance of the season after a loan spell at troubled Stafford Rangers

Crane was on hand to make a smart double save low down at his near post in the final minute, with the Hednesford fans able to celebrate a famous win over their local Skrill North rivals and a place in Monday lunchtime's draw. Team spirit and quality in certain quarters have once again been the Pitmen's strong points, overcoming a decidedly average Telford side that appeared to lack confidence in many quarters. We move back to Skrill North action next weekend when mid-table Gloucester City visit Keys Park

AFC Telford United: Young, Baynes (Phenix 52), Lever (Cooke 85), Byrne , Grand, Owens, Booth, Barnett, Farrell, Gray, McGinn     Subs Unused: Preston, Pryce, Moogan, Clancy, Jackson

Hednesford Town: Crane, Disney, Campion © , Bailey, Francis, Melbourne (MacPherson 77), Osborne, Durrell, Harvey (Lennon 90), Rey (Thompson-Brown 81), Taylor       Subs Unused: Woolfe, Anagho-Ntamark, Riley

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