9.4.2011

Zamaretto Southern Premier League

Hednesford Town

Patterson (12) (penalty), (52), (62), (penalty), Clements (18)

Bedford Town

Draycott (53)

(2) 4

(0) 1

Attendance

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Kyle Patterson

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Weymouth (A) 16.4.11

Hednesford returned to winning ways this afternoon as they took out their frustrations from last weekend's defeat at Evesham United with a four-goal hammering of struggling Bedford Town at Keys Park

Last Saturday's shock defeat at St. George's Lane had checked the Pitmen's recent sparkling form, with Rob Smith's side sitting four points off top spot in fourth place at the start of play. Smith elected to make three changes to his side for this afternoon's return home as Ben Bailey replaced Decio Gomes, Ross Davidson returned to the side in place of Kyle Haynes and Nick Wellecomme came back in for the injured Marvin Robinson. Striker Danny Quinn was passed fit to line up amongst the substitutes after missing the past thirteen games out injured

Bedford arrived at Keys Park sitting in seventeenth place in the table, only three points above the drop zone. However, Ady Hall's side had given themselves a boost in midweek, having defeated nineteenth placed Weymouth 4-1 at the New Eyrie to keep the three-point gap between themselves and the Terras. Hall made four changes to his Eagles side for today's trip up to Staffordshire as Mark Ducket, Tom Damon, Craig Daniel and Jamaine Ivy came into the side in place of Stuart Wall, the injured Josh Sozzo, Jamie Cole and Callum Lewis

It was another delightful sunny afternoon, with the temperature on the rise during the week to make today the warmest day of the year so far. The Pitmen made a high tempo start to the game with Kyle Patterson finding Alex Melbourne in the third minute with a pass out to the right wing; Melbourne got past Eddie Lawley and crossed to the near post, where goalkeeper Ian Brown claimed the ball ahead of the incoming Wellecomme

 

Wellecomme should have done better with his first sight at goal in the sixth minute however, as patient build-up play from the hosts saw Chris Clements play Patterson into space just outside the Bedford penalty area. The striker held off a challenge from Eagles skipper Derwayne Stupple and beat Graham Clark before taking the ball wide into space down the left and crossing for Wellecomme, whose glancing header at the near post was a matter of inches wide of hitting the target from six yards out

More good approach play from the dominant hosts saw Clements and Denny link up in the centre circle to send Darren Campion scampering away down the left in the tenth minute, with the full-back's cross just a little too far in front of Wellecomme as he arrived late in the Bedford penalty area and allowed the ball to skip across the face of goal and away from danger

The home side were handed a chance to open the scoring two minutes later however as another Campion run down the left saw him latch onto Patterson's fine threaded pass before being unceremoniously brought down just inside the box by Clark. Referee Mr Dowd had no hesitation in awarding the Pitmen a penalty kick, which Patterson dispatched confidently as he sent Brown the wrong way from twelve yards out to open the scoring

Bedford had barely got themselves out of their own half in the first fifteen minutes of the game and continued to struggle against a confident and inventive Hednesford attack. A Clements free-kick in the fifteenth minute struck the Bedford wall and ran kindly for Denny, whose follow-up shot ended up sailing over the crossbar and into the Hednesford fans in the Heath Hayes terrace

The Pitmen's domination of the ball saw them stretch their lead in the nineteenth minute as Clements - one of the Pitmen's star men in recent games - continued to add to his burgeoning reputation with another long-range goal to add to his collection. Picking up a loose ball in midfield, Clements brought the ball down on his chest and made a forceful run from deep that saw him drift past two challenges before firing the ball past Brown from the edge of the penalty area and finding the right-hand corner of the net, despite the despairing dive of the Bedford stopper

Patterson was in the mood for goals and created an opening for himself on twenty minutes; picking up a throwing from Campion down left, Patterson drifted inside from the flank and cut across the face of the penalty area before unleashing a right-footed shot that drifted just past the post

Four minutes later, youngster Ben Bailey looked to get in on the goalscoring act as he headed a Clements corner kick goalward only to be denied by Jamie Cole, who was stationed at the back post to boot the ball off the line and away from goal

Patterson was denied a goal for the hosts just before the half-hour mark as a long punt forwards from Liam Francis saw Gavin Hoyte inexplicably miss his header and allow Wellecomme to flick the ball into the path of Patterson, who had the simple task of turning the ball past Brown from twelve yards out. However, Mr Dowd disallowed the goal and brought play back as his assistant on the main stand side had flagged for a foul by Wellecomme on Hoyte in the build-up

Two minutes later, Bedford's first sight at goal came from a Cole corner kick, swung into the six-yard box where Hoyte headed towards goal but was denied by a combination of Crane's presence and Bailey's persistence. the ball ran to Lawley on the left-hand side of the penalty area, who lifted his follow-up shot high over the crossbar

Campion won a free-kick for the Pitmen to the left of the Bedford penalty area on thirty-six minutes, taking it himself and firing in a powerful shot that took a nick off the side of the Bedford wall and skipped just over Brown's crossbar for a corner kick to the hosts

With five minutes of the half remaining, Bedford won a free-kick thirty yards from goal after Ian Draycott had been fouled by Cheyenne Dunkley. Mark Ducket took the resultant kick and floated the ball into the box, where Craig Daniel's backwards header was claimed by Crane just inside his six-yard box, diving to smother the effort before anyone in yellow could react

It had been yet another dominant forty-five minutes for the Pitmen, who had well and truly exorcised any painful memories of last weekend's poor performance and had looked the title-challenging side that they have appeared to be in recent weeks once more

Another quick start to the half from the hosts saw them camped inside the Bedford half of the pitch once more in search of that killer third goal; on forty-eight minutes, Clements sprayed the ball out to Melbourne down the right, who stood up a cross to the far post that Wellecomme outmuscled Hoyte to get to but headed high over the crossbar

Patterson was the man to hand Hednesford their third goal of the game on fifty-two minutes as Campion's throw from the left found Wellecomme inside the Bedford penalty area, tight to the byeline - his neat header into the path of the excellent Patterson saw the striker strike a low first-time effort from a tight angle across goal and into the far corner of the net, beating the dive of Brown in the process

Despite having what appeared to be an unassailable lead at this point, the hosts allowed Bedford a way back into the game just sixty seconds later as a ball forwards from Stupple down the left was flicked on by Jamaine Ivy and into the path of Draycott, who lashed his first-time shot past Crane from twelve yards out to reduce the deficit almost immediately

This appeared to give Bedford confidence going forwards as they enjoyed their best spell of the game in the next ten minutes; Ducket made a mazy run down the left on fifty-seven minutes, skipping past Melbourne's challenge and crossing to the far post, where Ivy just failed to get the vital touch needed to turn the ball home as Dunkley denied him space

Two minutes later, Daniel went on a mazy run of his own down the right flank after being played into space by Ivy's quick throw but saw his cut-back from the byeline evade all but Ducket at the far post, who stretched to reach the ball but lifted his shot over the crossbar from twelve yards out

The Pitmen were to strike again, however, on sixty-two minutes as they were awarded their second penalty kick of the afternoon as Crane's long ball forwards was missed by Hoyte once more, allowing Wellecomme to pick up the bouncing ball inside the penalty area before being brought down by the recovering centre-back. Once again, Mr Dowd had no concerns about pointing to the spot and awarding the house to a penalty kick. Paterson stepped up once more and completed his hat-trick with ease by firing high to Brown's right from twelve yards out

With the game now essentially won, Smith could afford the luxury of resting players ahead of a busy schedule and brought both skipper Francis and Melbourne off on sixty-five minutes as he brought Decio Gomes and the returning Quinn on in their places

The game turned into something of a training match for much of the remainder of the game as the Pitmen held firm and Bedford struggled to create openings in the final third of the pitch. Ross Davidson's run down the right on seventy-one minutes saw him drift past Lawley and pulled the ball back to Denny on the edge of the Bedford penalty area, only for the midfielder to strike a firm shot into the home fans gathered in the Hednesford end stand

Campion exchanged passes with Clements three minutes later and played the ball into the feet of Patterson, who controlled the ball with his back to goal before cleverly nutmegging Cole and playing Wellecomme in on goal. However, the striker had moved a little too quickly and was pulled back for offside before he could shoot at goal

With ten minutes of the game to go and proceedings quickly petering out as a contest, young left-back Louis Keenen was handed a rare outing for the Pitmen as he came on in place of Denny for the final ten minutes

Bailey once again did well to reach a Clements corner kick on eighty-three minutes but headed over the crossbar as Stupple did enough to put the young defender off his stride just outside the six-yard box

A late salvo from the visitors saw them go close on two occasions in the final few minutes as they looked to make the scoreline a little more respectable. A free-kick from Clark on eighty-seven minutes from the right-hand side of the Hednesford penalty area found substitute Nat Peacock, who chested the ball down but could not find anyone in a yellow shirt gambling inside the six-yard box and the ball was eventually cleared

A Clements free-kick on eighty-nine minutes went close to being headed into his own net by the hapless Stupple, who diverted the midfielder's inswinging cross from the right narrowly wide of his far post as he denied both Wellecomme and Quinn a tap-in on the line

In added time, Peacock did well to dispossess a dawdling Bailey just outside his own penalty area and square it to Clark, whose attempted shot was blocked by Bailey's recovering challenge from fifteen yards out to turn the ball back to Crane

Another fine win in the sunshine for the Pitmen, who move back into the top three courtesy of Cambridge City not playing today, just a point behind Salisbury City and four behind title favourites Truro City. Another side battling for their lives towards the bottom of the league table offer up a difficult opponent for Smith's side next Saturday when they make the long journey down to Dorset to face fourth-bottom Weymouth, who gave themselves a huge boost today with a 4-0 win at fellow strugglers Tiverton Town

Hednesford Town: Crane, Bailey, Campion, Dunkley, Francis © (Gomes 65), Denny (Keenan 80), Melbourne (Quinn 65), Clements, Wellecomme,  Patterson, Davidson      Subs Unused: Arrowsmith, Robinson

Bedford Town: Brown, Clark, Lawley, Cole (Simpson 71), Stupple ©, Hoyte, Daniel (Peacock 71), Damon (Islam 59), Ivy, Draycott, Ducket      Subs Unused: Wall, Kavanagh

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