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Zamaretto Southern Premier League

Banbury United

Hednesford Town

Carter (12), Bridgwater (20), (90), Gibson (58)

(0) 0

(2) 4



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Sean Platt


Hemel Hempstead Town (A) 21.8.10

The Pitmen quickly dispelled memories of Saturday's defeat to Chippenham Town with a superb attacking performance at Banbury United this evening, scoring four goals in the process without reply

After criticism of his tactics on Saturday, manager Bernard McNally went for a radical approach with his team, making a number of personnel and positional changes. Cheyenne Dunkley claimed the place of the injured Jimmy Turner in central defence, whilst Scott Fuller was also added to the defence as he replaced Chris Clements. The defence was re-organised, with four recognised centre backs playing across the back line, with skipper Sean Platt and Aaron Gibson pushed into midfield. Alfie Carter was put into the starting line-up in an advanced role alongside Mark Bellingham, replacing Dorryl Proffitt

Banbury had started the new season with a 1-1 draw at Cirencester Town at the weekend as the Puritans looked to get off the mark at home with a first win of the campaign. Manager Billy Jeffrey made one change to the side that had started at the Coronium Stadium as Rob Foster came into the side up front in place of Scott Cross

The Pitmen's new formation was met with several raised eyebrows upon arrival at the Spencer Stadium, but Hednesford fans need not have worried, as it paid immediate dividends. After testing the Banbury defence with a couple of searching balls in the first few minutes, a third one on twelve minutes did the damage; Jay Denny's ball forward was flicked towards goal by Liam Francis, but Banbury keeper Joe Murrell was out to collect. However, he made a terrible mess of his catch, fumbling the ball at the feet of the onrushing Carter, who fired into the empty net at the far post

Hednesford were rampant at this early stage in the game and another long ball from Denny almost played in Bellingham on fifteen minutes, but a combination of goalkeeper and defender made a panicky clearance as the ace striker looked to pounce on any more mistakes at the back

Midway through the half, and the pressure paid off again, with another summer signing, Dave Bridgwater, claiming the Pitmen's second goal. The midfielder unleashed an absolute screamer from twenty-five yards after placing a free-kick just to the left of the Banbury penalty area, beating Murrell all ends up with a powerful effort

Bellingham was hungry to get in on the goalscoring act, with the prolific hit-man still looking for his first Hednesford goal. Sixty seconds later, he came closest to getting his season opener as he slid in in an attempt to get on the end of Carter's low cross. However, he was inches away from connecting as the ball flew across the face of the goal

Platt was enjoying his new role free on the right-wing, and a surging run from the skipper on the half-hour saw him slip the ball into the path of Bellingham, who forced Murrell into a fine save at his near post

Banbury offered very little in the way of an attacking threat during the first half, with the four centre backs of Hednesford looking solid at the back - indeed, Ben Bailey and Cheyenne Dunkley looked in superb form for the Pitmen

The second half continued in much the vein during the early stages of the period, with Hednesford continuing to push Banbury back. Gibson was first to test Murrell just four minutes after the restart, racing past two Banbury players before forcing Murrell into a fine save low down to his right

Gibson was on hand again two minutes before the hour mark, notching his first goal for the club to end a flowing move by the Pitmen. Platt's run and cross was flicked on by a Banbury defender, allowing the ball to drop favourably for Gibson, who made light of his lack of height and headed past Murrell at the far post

McNally immediately made a change to his rampant side, with young forward Odane Barnes coming on for the tiring Carter up front

Banbury responded with David Staff whipping in a dangerous ball towards Jason Taylor, but Fuller was on hand to make a timely interception before the forward could get a shot in on goal

Bellingham was still looking for his ice-breaker but found Murrell in outstanding form for Banbury. Another Platt through ball found the striker on seventy minutes, with his fearsome shot brilliantly turned away by Murrell

Barnes almost made an impact in his first action as a Hednesford player, heading over the crossbar from Bridgwater's flighted corner kick with thirteen minutes remaining

Banbury were simply playing damage limitation as the game entered the final ten minutes, making a meal of clearing the ball after the impressive Gibson had once again strolled through the defence and tested Murrell with a left-foot shot

The Pitmen's pressure finally conjured up a fourth goal in the final minute of the game;  Bridgwater again stepped up with a free-kick, lashing an unstoppable shot past Murrell and into the top right-hand corner of the net

McNally will have been delighted with his team's response and will look to build on this win with another positive result at Hemel Hempstead Town this Saturday

Banbury United: Murrell, Howarth, Cray, Haisley, Gordon, Oulton (Martin 62), Coleman, Benjamin, Foster (Stanbridge 70), Taylor (Cross 70), Staff      Sub Unused: Learoyd

Hednesford Town: Crane, Bailey, Francis, Dunkley, Fuller, Denny, Platt ©, Bridgwater, Bellingham, Carter (Barnes 59), Gibson    Subs Unused: Clements, Osborne, Keenan, Brock

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