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F.A. Trophy 1st Qualifying Round

Bedworth United

Hednesford Town

Hay (42)

(0) 0

(1) 1



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Dan Crane


Whitby Town (H) 29.10.11

Hednesford put their name into Monday's hat for the next round of the F.A. Trophy after defeating Evo-Stik Southern League Division One league leaders Bedworth at the Oval this afternoon

With Cheyenne Dunkley out injured for the next two weeks, Ben Bailey was given the opportunity to stake a claim for a return to regular action by starting his first game of the season in his place. New signing Ben Jevons, who joined the Pitmen last week from Chasetown, was handed a place amongst the substitutes

An early Hednesford free-kick, awarded to Jamey Osborne after he was brought down by former Walsall defender Ian Roper right on the edge of the area. Skipper Darren Campion wasted the resultant kick, hammering it low into the well-drilled Bedworth wall

Chris Shaw got involved in the next attack on nine minutes, heading a Chris Clements corner goalwards after climbing highest through a crowd of players. The ball was hacked away at the near post before either Gary Hay or Pedro Monteiro could react to the rebound

Bedworth's reply saw Mitchell Piggon play the ball into the box on seventeen minutes, with Dan Crane seemingly picking up a regulation ball. However, the big keeper made a meal of his catch and allowed Ashley Spencer to nip in and fire in a shot from a tight angle. Crane redeemed himself by getting his hands on the ball and turned it away for a corner

Two minutes later, a long ball forward from Campion set Nick Wellecomme on his way, with the big striker outpacing two defenders as he raced into the penalty area. As he lined up a shot on goal, a last-ditch challenge from Roper did enough to smother Wellecomme's shot and put the ball out for a corner kick

A similar scenario followed four minutes later, as Jay Denny's ball over the top saw Wellecomme again get away from the Bedworth back line. This time he was denied by Greenbacks keeper Tom Gutteridge, who blocked the shot with his legs on the edge of the area

Kyle Haynes had to be alert to turn away a dangerous looking ball into the box on twenty-six minutes, booting Ashley Robinson's square ball away from goal to deny Spencer a tap-in at the far post

Piggon went closest of anyone to opening the scoring on the half-hour mark, hitting a low shot from the edge of the Hednesford penalty area that Crane did well to turn away from goal after the ball bounced just in front of him. Shaw was alert to turn the rebound away before Robinson could turn the ball home

Bedworth were arguably the most threatening side at this point, finishing the half strongly. A run from Matt Bates saw him sidestep three Hednesford challenges before striking a rising shot narrowly over the crossbar on forty minutes

Wellecomme's ability to finish in one-on-one situations has been called into question by a portion of Hednesford supporters, and the former Stafford man again failed to convert another great chance into a goal on forty-one minutes after he latched onto a delightful through ball from Clements but was foiled by a smothering save from Gutteridge as he bared down on goal

One of Wellecomme's biggest strengths, however, is his sheer presence in and around the penalty area, and his aerial ability set up Hay for the only goal of the game three minutes before half time. Clements' deflected cross looped up towards goal, with Wellecomme doing enough to nod the ball down into the path of Hay at the far post after challenging with Gutteridge. Hay composed himself and lashed the ball into the roof of the net, despite the attentions of two Bedworth defenders

Hednesford started the second half brightly, with Wellecomme again denied by Gutteridge on fifty minutes as he headed Clements' free-kick goalwards. Bedworth failed to clear effectively, and Campion's cross dropped to Bailey at the far post, but he could only drag his shot wide

Clements, who had scored in his last seven games for the Pitmen, was looking to continue his great run in front of goal and almost made it eight from eight on the hour mark; his swerving, rising drive from the edge of the area was pushed away by Gutteridge for a corner kick

 Elliott Durrell - a goalscorer in midweek against Willenhall in the Birmingham Senior Cup - was given more valuable game time on sixty-eight minutes as he replaced the ineffective Osbourne. The playmaker was straight into the action, firing just wide of goal after Clements' shot was saved by Gutteridge, who parried the ball into the path of Durrell

Rob Smith made a further change five minutes later, with Wellecomme making way for Marvin Robinson as the Pitmen looked to see the game out. Bedworth sensed a chance to earn a replay at Keys Park and pushed forward in search of an equaliser. Spencer gave Crane work to do on seventy-eight minutes, driving low at goal and making Crane dive to his right to field the shot

The hard-working Hay almost doubled his, and Hednesford's lead on eighty minutes, racing to the near post to head Campion's corner goalwards; his flicked header was hacked off the line by Kyle Baxter as Robinson and Bailey both looked to force the ball over the goal line

Hay's forceful run through the Bedworth defence a minute later was similarly frustrating in its climax, as the burly striker shook off Nathan Haines' challenge and looked to square the ball to Robinson at the far post. Again, a Bedworth defender did enough to prevent a certain goal, with Alex Dean getting in ahead of Robinson to clear

Clements' quest for that eighth goal in eight games continued almost right up to the final whistle, with a dipping shot giving Gutteridge a moment of panic as it narrowly missed the post

Robinson thought he had settled the game with three minutes remaining, but after bundling Campion's cross home at the far post the referee disallowed the goal for offside

Jevons was granted a brief debut for the Pitmen with a minute remaining as he came on in place of veteran Hay, who would have been content with his afternoon's work up front

Bedworth came oh-so-close to salvaging a draw in added time as they threw everything at the Pitmen in added time, with substitute Matty Brown firing a goalbound shot in the final minute, but an outstanding fingertip save by Crane, diving to his left to turn the ball away, denied him an equaliser

Crane's superb performance had essentially earned the Pitmen their place in Monday's draw, with the experienced stopper receiving warm applause from the Hednesford supporters who had made the short journey down the A5 to support the team. It's a return to league action for the Pitmen next weekend as they host lowly Whitby Town at Keys Park

Bedworth United: Gutteridge, Dean, Haines, Cartwright, Roper © (Moore 87), Tullin (Davies 84), Baxter, Spencer, Robinson (Brown 72), Piggon, Bates      Subs Unused: Greenway, Hearne


Hednesford Town: Crane, Haynes, Shaw, Bailey, Monteiro, Denny, Osborne (Durrell 68), Clements, Wellecomme (Robinson 75), Hay (Jevons 89), Campion ©      Subs Unused: Gomes, Danks

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