15.12.2009

Zamaretto Southern Premier League

Bedford Town

Lawley (33), Daniel (39), Field (60)

Hednesford Town

Dyer (16), Durrell (71)

(2) 3

(1) 2

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

198

Ben Bailey

W D L W D D W L D L

Oxford City (A) 19.1.10

Hednesford's frustrating form continued at a cold and icy New Eyrie this evening, as the Pitmen crashed to a poor defeat against struggling Bedford - this despite taking an early lead

Pitmen manager Simon Line stuck with the XI that had earned a tough point on Saturday against high-flying Cambridge City, but elected to change his options on the bench with Richard Walker, Aaron Gibson and Liam Flynn all returning

The Eagles returned to the New Eyrie for this re-arranged game after a 2-1 defeat at fellow strugglers Tiverton at the weekend, leaving under-pressure player/manager Lee Howarth and his side firmly rooted in the bottom three as a result

The Pitmen made light of the cold, hard ground in the first quarter, stroking the ball around and pushing Bedford back into their own half. Elliott Durrell saw plenty of the ball in the early stages, whipping in two free-kicks that came to nothing

In the sixteenth minute, the frozen Hednesford supporters had something to warm them up with courtesy of skipper Ross Dyer, who moved level with Tyrone Barnett on nine goals for the season. Defensive confusion allowed the in-form striker to get in behind the Bedford defence, before firing high past Eagles keeper Mike Armitt

The Pitmen were buoyed by their goal, and continued to push forward in search of a killer second goal. Mid-way through the half, Durrell almost grabbed that crucial second, but his powerful shot from the edge of the area came back off the crossbar, with Armitt beaten. Dyer did his level best to put the rebound away, but his effort was high over the bar

Barnett, looking to keep ahead of Dyer in the scoring charts, was next to 'have a go' for the Pitmen, cleverly working half a yard for himself before firing a shot across the face of goal and wide of the far post

Just as you felt that the Pitmen had Bedford just where they wanted them, the home side grabbed an equaliser on thirty-three minutes, courtesy of Eagles legend Eddie Lawley. The central defence of the Pitmen, which had looked pretty solid up to now, failed to deal with a corner kick and allowed Lawley time and space to  side-foot past Stuart Brock from eight yards out

Suddenly, Hednesford's game plan had fallen to pieces, as they struggled to get a handle on the game as Bedford attacked. Nine minutes later, and the capitulation was complete, as more defensive floundering allowed Craig Daniel the time to pick his spot just inside the area and beat Brock with a crisp shot

Line must have been furious with his side for letting such a comfortable position slip in nine crazy minutes at the end of the half. Unfortunately, whatever team talk he came up with at the break failed to inspire the players, as they produced a lacklustre second-half display

The first clear cut opportunity of the second half took fifteen minutes to materialise, but to the Pitmen's disappointment, it turned out to be another goal for Bedford. Lawley, who was having a fine game in defence for the Eagles, played a lovely ball through to Stacey Field, who raced away from the statuesque Hednesford defence and kept his composure to round Brock and steer the ball home

Immediately, Line made a change, taking off the ineffective Paul McMullen and bringing on the more attack-minded Gibson - this move also saw Ben Bailey moved back into his more familiar role in central defence, whilst Gibson went out wide to play down the left-wing

Hednesford certainly looked happier with this set-up and grabbed a lifeline with twenty minutes remaining through Durrell. The little forward hit an unstoppable shot from the edge of the area that beat Armitt all ends up to give the Pitmen hope

Despite the goal, the final quarter failed to fire the Pitmen, as Lawley and company found it fairly straightforward in dealing with Hednesford's attacking threat. Indeed, Armitt was not troubled once in the final ten minutes - something that frustrated the shivering Hednesford supporters huddled behind the Bedford goal

All in all, a night to forget - and not just because of the weather. Hednesford's season is very much at a crossroads now, with the Pitmen marooned in mid-table and with no real form at present. Next up is a first-ever trip to Oxford City on Saturday and how the Pitmen would love to repeat the 4-2 scoreline against the same opponents a few weeks ago

Bedford Town: Armitt, Hole, Lawley, Miller, Darby, Wall , Daniel , Clark (P. Draycott 74), Field (Peacock 87), I. Draycott, Cole  (Ewang 80)      Subs Unused: Howarth, Cavanagh

Hednesford Town: Brock, Platt, Anslow, Jagielka, McMullen (Gibson 64), Goodhead, Durrell, Bailey, Barnett, Dyer ©, Aiston    Subs Unused: Chapman,  Carvey, Walker, Flynn