28.8.2021

Pitching In Southern Premier League Central

Hednesford Town

Ison (73)

Biggleswade Town

Bush (90)

(0) 1

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Todd Parker

W W W D

 

Rushall Olympic (A) 30.8.21

The Pitmen's 100% record comes to an end this afternoon as visitors Biggleswade grab an injury-time equaliser to take home a point from the PRG Stadium @ Keys Park

Last weekend's win at Alvechurch had left the Pitmen joint-top of the early league table going into today's home game. Manager Keenen Meakin-Richards made one change to the side that had started at Lye Meadow with Kyle Rowley coming into the side in place of Andre Landell; this saw a change in formation with Rowley slotting into the backline and Lewis Ison playing in front of the defenders in a more progressive role for the player. On the bench, new signings Jack Chambers and Callum King-Harmes were both named after their midweek switches to the club

Biggleswade arrived at Keys Park off the back of a comprehensive 3-0 defat to Peterborough Sports in midweek, leaving the Waders down in mid-table with one win, one draw and one loss from their first three games. Manager Chris Nunn made three changes to the side that had started on Tuesday night as Steven Shaw, Magloire Muyembe and Shane Bush came in for Joe Howe, Russell Short and David Manu

It was a beautifully bright and sunny afternoon in South Staffordshire and both sets of players and supporters observed a minute's applause in memory of the Pitmen's long-serving groundsman Dave Bates, who had passed away in midweek. News had also spread around the ground before kick-off of the shock passing of the Pitmen's former defender Sam Oji, who had died suddenly at the age of 35 this morning after a short illness

 

The game was played at a sprightly pace during the first half, although chances were to prove hard to come by for both teams as both defences were on top during the opening forty-five minutes

 

Biggleswade were first to offer a shot in anger in the sixth minute of the game as Muyembe got a low shot away from just inside the Hednesford penalty area that was easily saved by Andy Wycherley

Todd Parker played a neat one-two with Ison in the ninth minute and sprayed the ball out to Ryan Pryce, who had made a run down the right flank. He played a nicely-weighted pass into the path of George Cater, who saw his cross deflected behind by Waders skipper James Peters

More good play from Parker in the twelfth minute saw him play a delightful pass out to Carter Lycett, who managed to get goal-side of Shaw and made his way into the penalty area. Hos cross towards Andre Brown was cleared by Bush as he hacked the ball away from the striker's reach

Brown did well to hold off the attentions of Peters three minutes later and play a reverse pass into the path of Cater, who appeared to make a run from behind his marker to get on the end of the pass. However, the assistant on the Wimblebury side thought otherwise and raised his flag to deny the winger a shot at goal

Bush made a very timely block inside his own penalty area in the eighteenth minute of the game as Reece Flanagan seized upon a loose ball just inside the Waders penalty area and struck a shot at goal, only for the defender to get behind the shot at turn it away from danger for a Hednesford corner kick

A minute later, Ison picked up a pass from Parker on the edge of the Biggleswade penalty area and struck a clearly-hit shot that forced Biggleswade goalkeeper Jake Alley into a sprawling save down to his left

Alley suffered an injury after making a save in the twenty-sixth minute which required him to have a spell of treatment from Hednesford sports therapist Eve Littler with the Waders apparently having no physio on their bench

Brown made a darting run in behind the Biggleswade defence to reach a through ball from Lycett on the half-hour mark, only for another tight offside call from the assistant to deny Brown a shot at goal

Rowley required a spell of treatment four minutes later as he attempted to turn the ball home from a Lycett corner kick but ended up in a heap in the net after missing the ball and falling heavily

Back came the Waders and midfielder Lewis Clayton was narrowly off-target on thirty-six minutes as he drove the shot well wide of goal after a neat spell of play

Two minutes later, Joe Neal spotted Wycherley off his line and attempted a cheeky chip over the head of the stopper but got underneath the ball and lifted his shot high over the crossbar

Flanagan saw another powerfully struck shot from just outside the Biggleswade penalty area palmed away by Alley on forty minutes as the Pitmen continued to press

The first booking of the afternoon came just before the half-time break as Biggleswade midfielder Sam Squire was shown a yellow card for a foul on Parker

The hosts had enjoyed plenty of possession and the lion's share of the territory but had done very little with it so far as the visitors had stood firm to protect the point that they appeared to be playing for

There was a half-time substitution for the Pitmen as Flanagan - who had looked off the pace for much of the first period in midfield - was replaced by the more attacking threat of Landell

A darting run from Parker three minutes after the restart was halted illegally by Squire and allowed Lycett to line up a free-kick to the left of the Waders penalty area. However, his lofted shot clipped the wall and was cleared from danger

Lycett was given the opportunity to have another go from the opposite side of the penalty area two minutes later as Brown won a free-kick after his run was halted. This free-kick was more successful as the youngster curled his shot over the wall and just inches wide of Alley's left-hand post

Cater - still looking for his first-ever competitive goal for the Pitmen - shot wide of goal on fifty-four minutes after getting the better of Kane Ferrell down the right

A minute later, Lycett's corner kick dropped into the Biggleswade box and at the feet of Brown, whose shot was blocked before Ben Bailey's follow-up shot was smuggled clear by the visitors

Squire could well have been shown a second yellow card on fifty-seven minutes as he brought Ison down with a late tackle on the defender. He escaped a red card as he was handed a final warning by referee Mr Kane

The Pitmen's second change of the afternoon came in the sixty-third minute as Bailey's game was ended early as Chambers came on in his place. This saw Ison moved back into central defence as the Northern Irishman slotted into midfield

An inswinging corner kick from Lycett on sixty-five minutes was met by the met of the incoming Brown, who headed narrowly over the crossbar from eight yards out

The hosts made their final change of the game on sixty-eight minutes as flying winger King-Harmes was handed his debut as he came on for Josh Webb. More tactical tweaks were in order once more as Pryce moved to right-back and Lycett moved to left-back to allow King-Harmes to play down the left flank

The young substitute was straight into the game and made a darting run across the pitch just a couple of minutes after coming on but lost control of the ball and ended up pulling substitute Sam Egole back to earn himself a swift yellow card

The Pitmen finally made their pressure tell as they took the lead on seventy-three minutes; Lycett's inswinging corner from the right was met by the head of Ison, whose firmly placed header beat Alley and found the net from six yards out

There was an almost immediate response from the visitors just a minute later as Waders striker Jemale McKenzie rose highest to meet a free-kick from the left but headed narrowly wide of Wycherley's left-hand post

Cater was once again denied a chance to score by a late offside flag with thirteen minutes remaining as his darting run into the penalty area was pulled back by the assistant's flag before he could slot the ball past Alley

Another fine pass from Parker with ten minutes remaining found Brown in behind the Biggleswade defence, only for his touch to allow Alley to make a smothering save to deny the striker

A mazy run from Cater on eighty-three minutes saw him win a corner kick which he took himself and found the head of Landell, who headed wide at the near post

The Pitmen were finishing the game strongly as they looked for a killer second goal, with Cater somehow skewing a shot from close-range wide with four minutes remaining after a fine flowing move involving Parker and Pryce

A minute later, King-Harmes was denied a debut goal by Alley as he diverted the striker's goalbound shot away from goal with his legs as the former Bolton Wanderers man tried to slot the ball through the legs of the stopper

The Pitmen's game management saw them take their time at a couple of corner kicks as the minutes ticked away and into added time. However, a last-ditch attempt at goal turned up a late equaliser for the waders in the third minute of added time; a cross from the left from Ferrell dropped into the Hednesford penalty area and caused chaos in the ranks, with Bush finally applying the finish as he bundled the ball over the line from close-range

The Pitmen pushed forwards in what was left of time added on and Landell took a tumble in the penalty area, only for Mr Kane to remain unimpressed with the striker's pleas and booked him for his over-zealous protests

It was very much two points dropped for the hosts, who drop to third in the table as wins for both Peterborough Sports and Banbury United move them above the Pitmen in the table. The final game of a busy August sees the Pitmen make the short trip over to local rivals Rushall Olympic looking to get themselves back to winning ways and end the month on thirteen points

Hednesford Town: Wycherley, Webb (King-Harmes 68 ), Pryce, Bailey © (Chambers 63), Rowley, Ison, Cater, Parker, Brown, Flanagan (Landell 45 ), Lycett     Subs Unused: Hanna, Williams

Biggleswade Town: Alley, Shaw, Ferrell, Peters ©, Hall, Bush, Clayton ▆ (Egole 70 (Payne 90)), Squire , Neal, McKenzie, Muyembe      Subs Unused: Hill, Howe, Purse

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