Vanarama Conference North

Hednesford Town

Robinson (11), Rushton (82), (89), Osborne (90)

Brackley Town

Rowe (9)

(1) 4

(1) 1



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Jamey Osborne


North Ferriby United (A) 24.2.15

The Pitmen hit Brackley Town with a late three-goal salvo to seal all three points over Brackley Town this afternoon, consolidating fourth place in the table in the process ahead of a busy fortnight for Rob Smith's side

Last week's standout victory over play-off rivals Guiseley was the Pitmen's fourth victory in a row, with Hednesford now level on points with local rivals Tamworth before today's round of games in Vanarama Conference North. Former Brackley duo Marvin Robinson and Steve Diggin were re-united up front for the game, with fellow former Brackley man Glenn Walker also lining up against his former club. Darren Campion returned to the side after suspension, replacing the injured Paul McCone, whilst Andy Todd was replaced by Jamey Osborne in midfield. Striker Thomas Strain, a new loan signing from Aston Villa, was named amongst the substitutes

Brackley had struggled to reach the heights of the last two seasons during the current campaign, with manager Jon Brady keeping his side just above the relegation dogfight for the majority of it. Recent signing Frank Sinclair added experience and leadership on the pitch after he had left his position at Colwyn Bay, with the former Chelsea man named amongst the substitutes

Diggin wasted a glorious opportunity to open the scoring against his former club in the seventh minute, as the burly striker fired wide from twelve yards out after having time and space to set himself

Brackley's first attempt on goal two minutes later was to open the scoring, as a superb floated cross from Greg Kaziboni was headed home by Ryan Rowe, who was given far too much time to pick his spot and glance the ball past Dan Crane

Despite the shock of going behind, the Pitmen struck back almost immediately through Robinson, again outlining his importance to the Hednesford cause with another important goal. Diggin picked the ball up and drove a shot towards goal, with the ball taking a huge deflection off the side of Robinson's head and diverting the ball beyond Billy Turley in the Brackley goal

Turley was alert to successive Hednesford corners on eighteen minutes, punching the first one away and claiming the second one from Tom Thorley as he was challenged by Ben Bailey

Robinson went agonisingly close to giving the Pitmen the lead on twenty-six minutes with a spectacular effort, reminiscent of his famous goal against Stafford Rangers in 2011. A deep cross from Campion found the big striker, who executed a perfect overhead kick to fire the ball past a bemused Turley and off the underside of the crossbar. The power of the shot left the crossbar reverberating for a few moments after the effort, with Robinson left frustrated at not adding to his tally for the game

Loan signing Lloyd Kerry was the first player who had his name taken by the referee on thirty-four minutes after the Harrogate man had pulled Eric Odhiambo down from behind

James Hurst had to be alert to a quick break down the Brackley left on thirty-seven minutes, throwing himself in front of a shot from former Wolves junior Sam Whittall and deflecting it behind for a Brackley corner kick

Two minutes later, a typically barnstorming run from Osborne saw him evade two challenges in midfield and fire in a shot from twenty-five yards out that clipped the outside of the post on it's way wide of Turley's goal

Thorley - impressive in recent games but yet to score this term - tried his luck early in the second half with a long-range effort that Turley watched all the way into his hands

The patched-up Hednesford defence almost allowed Rowe the chance to put Brackley back into the lead on fifty minutes, as Whittall's cross found Rowe inside the penalty area. Despite having enough time to pick his spot, somehow Rowe prodded the ball wide of goal

Another chance fell to Robinson on fifty-seven minutes, with Hurst crossing for the veteran striker who headed the ball wide of goal from a good position
Kerry's game was brought to an end just before the hour mark, as the Pitmen brought on the more aggressive influence of Richard Batchelor in Kerry's place in midfield

Two Brackley corners caused more concerns in the Hednesford ranks on sixty-five minutes, with Rowe and Eddie Odhiambo both denied by last-ditch challenges from Hednesford players

Adam Thomas had struggled to have the same impact on the game that he had against Guiseley the previous week, and was taken off in favour of the experienced Todd on seventy-three minutes

The Pitmen made their final change of the game with thirteen minutes left, as Nick Rushton came on in place of Diggin up front

The final Hednesford change proved to be an inspired one by Rob Smith, as Rushton made an immediate impact with eight minutes left; the on-loan striker reacted quickest to a goalmouth scramble inside the Brackley penalty area to fire past Turley from close range for his second Pitmen goal since joining the club last month

The game turned on Hednesford's second goal, with the Pitmen attacking in waves as Brackley looked to react to push more men forwards in search of a point. Jamey Osborne tested Turley's reflexes in the latter stages of the game, as he wriggled free and fired a low shot straight into the body of the veteran keeper

The Pitmen wrapped the game up in added time, as Rushton made a great run in behind the Brackley defence to pick up a through ball from Osborne. He jinked his way past the challenge of Turley and slotted the ball into the empty net from an angle to complete a quickfire double

And yet, there was still time for Osborne to put the gloss on a workmanlike performance from the hosts, as the playmaker capped a fine game with a quite astonishing goal. Picking the ball up just inside his own half, Osborne spotted Turley way off his line and cheekily fired a David Beckham-esque shot over the head of Turley and into the net from fully fifty yards out. A phenomenal goal, and one of the truly memorable ones to have graced the Keys Park turf in the last twenty years

A memorable last ten minutes from the Pitmen keeps them in contention towards the top of the table, with Rushton's brace and Osborne's wonder goal masking a ponderous first eighty minutes from the side, who struggled to break down a resolute Brackley defence. A long trip to Humberside is next up for the Pitmen on Tuesday night, facing up against old Evo-Stik rivals North Ferriby United, who will no doubt have one eye on their F.A. Trophy semi-final second leg against Bath City next weekend

Hednesford Town: Crane, Hurst, Campion ©, Bailey, Kerry  (Batchelor 59), Thorley, Osborne, Thomas (Todd 73), Robinson, Diggin (Rushton 77), Walker      Subs Unused: Strain

Brackley Town: Turley ©, Collins, Carruthers, Eddie Odhiambo, Pierpoint, Austin, Eric Odhiambo (Built 54), Whittall, Rowe, Kaziboni (Nelson-Addy 87), Moyo (Green 84)      Subs Unused: Sinclair, Farrell