23.8.2008

UniBond Northern Premier League

Hednesford Town

Barnett (7), Dyer (45), (74)

Bradford (Park Avenue)

Hall (59)

(2) 3

(0) 1

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

478

Ross Dyer

D W W

Witton Albion (A) 25.8.08

The Pitmen made it back-to-back wins at Keys Park this week to continue their good start to the new campaign with a fine win over previous league leaders Bradford (Park Avenue) this afternoon

 

Manager Dean Edwards kept faith in the same side that beat Nantwich Town on Tuesday night but included teenager Reece Styche amongst the substitutes for the first time this season in place of former Cheltenham Town midfielder Adam Connolly

Newly-promoted Bradford had started life in the UniBond Premier League with a brace of 4-0 wins against Prescot Cable and Matlock Town to send out a message that they were here to compete towards the top of the table this term having brought in a number of step three performers over the summer months

The front three of the Pitmen has looked a real handful in the first two games of the season, with people commenting that it is only a matter of time before they give a defence a real hammering. Two of the three linked up to give the home side the lead after seven minutes, with Ross Dyer winning the ball before playing in Tyrone Barnett, who coolly fired past Bradford keeper Jon Worsnop

However, Bradford came straight back at the Pitmen, looking for an immediate reply. Steve Connors played the ball to Tom Baker, who fired over from eighteen yards out. Stuart Brock had to be alert two minutes later to deny former Alfreton Town man Chris Bettney, who hit a free-kick straight at the former Aston Villa man

Brock had to be on top form five minutes later to keep Hednesford in front, making a terrific save to deny Hall from close range after the former Stalybridge striker got on the end of another Connors ball

Barnett was giving his all for the cause, and almost grabbed his - and Hednesford's - second midway through the half. Briggs found the onrushing Barnett with a great ball, but the forward dragged his shot wide of goal with only Worsnop to beat

The Pitmen seemed to have weathered the Bradford storm and launched several attacks of their own. Briggs could have added to their advantage but curled a free-kick narrowly over the bar. This was followed by a great chance for Dyer, who got on the end of a Sean Platt cross but headed wide of goal

There was a huge let-off for the Pitmen on thirty-five minutes when Tom Marshall's misjudgment saw Bettney race clear of goal, but fortunately for the former Hednesford skipper, his shot missed the target

Dyer was close to grabbing a goal just before the break, stretching to reach Barnett's cross, but missing by inches at the far post

Last season's top scorer grabbed the goal his efforts deserved right on half time; Briggs played a free-kick into the area, with Barnett heading the ball into Dyer's path to allow the youngster to fire home from just inside the penalty area

Marshall almost gifted Bradford a goal for a second time in the game just after the break. A poor throw-in from the centre back presented a chance to Hall, but Brock was alert to the danger, narrowing the angle and forcing the striker to panic and fire over the bar

Bradford grabbed a lifeline after a spell of pressure just before the hour mark. Bettney's run and cross found Hall, who managed to hold off Harvey and get enough on the ball to turn it past Brock

Bradford were the ones with their tails up, and they could have equalised when the same combination of Bettney and Hall forced Brock into a save that deflected off the striker and wide of goal

Despite the pressure at the back, the home side kept plugging away up front and were rewarded with a third goal sixteen minutes from the end. Marshall's lofted free-kick saw Dyer challenge Worsnop in the air, with the striker just getting enough on the ball to head it over the line

Despite the two-goal advantage, Bradford kept plugging away, with Brock making another fine save to deny substitute Mark Bett. He was also equal to a fiercely driven free-kick from Connors two minute later

Elliott Durrell, on for Louis Briscoe, could have sealed the win late on but fired wide of goal after getting on the end of a header from Barnett

A late goal for Hall was disallowed for offside as he made a move behind the Hednesford back line to reach a pass from Betts, but a flag on the Wimblebury side denied the prolific striker another goal 

 

An impressive three-game unbeaten run from the Pitmen sees them move into third place in the table and will head to Witton Albion on Bank Holiday Monday in fine form. Edwards' team could go top of the table if results go their way as they look to improve on a poor previous record at Wincham Park

Hednesford Town: Brock, Platt, Maguire, Gomes, Harvey, Marshall, Briggs, Briscoe (Durrell 75), Barnett, Dyer, Draper ©       Subs Unused: Junior, Carter, Morris, Styche

Bradford (Park Avenue): Worsnop, Hockenhull, Graves, Ruffer, Connor (Hotte 70), Baker, Bettney, Murphy (Betts 65), Hall, Rudd (Warner 78), Patterson      Sub Unused: Starmer