Evo-Stik Northern Premier League

Hednesford Town

Robinson (15), Osborne (25), Clements (36), Wellecomme (59)


(3) 4

(0) 0



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Dan Crane


Carlton Town (A) 1.10.11

Hednesford extended their unbeaten home run to nineteen games this evening win a four-goal salvo against bottom club Burscough - although the away side gave a much better account of themselves than the score suggested with an impressive first-half showing, defying their league position

With a vital F.A. Cup game coming up on Saturday against Carlton Town, manager Rob Smith took the opportunity to rest a handful of key players for the game. Defender Cheyenne Dunkley, whose form so far this term has been superb, was placed on the bench as Smith gave Portuguese defender Decio Gomes a run-out. Striker Gary Hay was also rested, with the 35-year-old not selected at all as Nick Wellecomme replaced Hay up front

Despite their lowly position, Burscough were full of running and attacking threat in the early stages, with Dan Crane making the first of a number of saves to deny Mark Beesley low down on two minutes

Hednesford's response was swift, with the Pitmen attacking in numbers. Darren Campion's flighted cross on six minutes was headed down by Marvin Robinson into the path of Chris Clements, who scuffed his shot just wide of the post

Despite the constant threat of Burscough breaking through, the Pitmen continued to carve out the genuine chances. A marauding run from Kyle Haynes on thirteen minutes saw him beat two men and play a quick one-two with Jamey Osborne before firing wide of the far post

Robinson broke Burscough's resistance two minutes later, heading an inswinging Clements corner firmly home from close range

Beesley should have put Burscough level on twenty minutes as he raced onto a long ball that dipped over the head of Pedro Monteiro, but his left-footed effort narrowly missed the target with the advancing Crane beaten

Clements, improving with every game this season, profited from another Robinson knockdown on twenty-three minutes, but his fierce volley dipped just over the crossbar

Two minutes later, Clements was again involved as the Pitmen doubled their lead. His initial long-range shot was blocked, with the ball falling kindly to Osborne on the edge of the area. The midfielder lashed the ball into the corner of the net for his second goal of the season

Beesley was constantly looking to play off the shoulder of the last defender, with a last-ditch tackle from Chris Shaw denying the striker a shot in on goal after he had outpaced Monteiro on thirty minutes

Will Jones, Beesley's striker partner, was next to test the reflexes of Crane on thirty-three minutes, taking advantage of Monterio's slip to fire towards goal, only to be denied by a smart save low down by the man in pink

The Pitmen sprung an immediate attack, and a deep cross from Haynes saw Robinson challenge for the ball. He felt he was pulled down in the area by Joe Camozzi, but he and the supporters' appeals were turned down by the referee

On thirty-five minutes, the Pitmen won a free-kick after Osborne played the ball off the hand of a Burscough defender. Clements lined up the kick just to the left of the edge of the penalty box before executing a perfect kick that bent around the wall and beat keeper Chris Thompson at his far post

The Pitmen were rampant at this point, pushing forward at every opportunity in search of more goals. Just before half time, Osbourne fired wide of goal after being teed up by Clements, who was involved in everything going forward for the hosts

Half time saw Robinson replaced by Danny Quinn, as Smith again had one eye on Saturday's Cup tie and the money it could generate for the club if successful

Quinn was straight into the action within two minutes of his introduction, running onto Wellecomme's flick-on before firing at Thompson with a low shot across goal

Wellecomme, who had had a quiet game by his own high standards, headed a deep Campion cross goalwards on fifty-three minutes, but Thompson was equal to Wellecomme's effort

Thompson was again on the spot to deny Campion a minute later, as the skipper's driven free-kick was well fielded by Burscough's number one

Just before the hour mark, the Pitmen appeared to have wrapped up the game by adding a fourth goal. A neat, patient passing move at the back saw Haynes pick the ball up on halfway, before slipping a ball through the gap to Wellecomme. The striker collected the ball on the edge of the area before calmly slotting past Thompson

More changes to the personnel followed the goal, with Phil Clarke coming on for Jay Denny and teenager Jelani Benjamin-McFarlane given a first-team debut as he replaced skipper Campion

Quinn was guilty of missing a fantastic opportunity to make it five on sixty-seven minutes. Clements' clever chip found Wellecomme, whose hooked ball back into the six-yard box was horribly missed by Quinn, who tried to clip the ball home but completely missed it as he tried a cheeky backheel

Quinn's pace and power saw him surge past two players on seventy-three minutes, and only a partial block from a defender denied Quinn a goal as his effort was saved by Thompson

Despite the scoreline, Burscough continued to press the Pitmen in the final quarter, as Crane was the busier of the two keepers towards the end. Beesley made yet another good run in behind the Pitmen's defence on seventy-five minutes, only to be denied by the quick reactions of Cranes, as he turned the shot away with his legs

Matty Perry went closest to grabbing a consolation goal for Burscough a minute later, striking the crossbar from a free-kick twenty-five yards out

Substitute Phil Quirk - on as a late substitute for former Pitman loanee Liam Blakeman - also wasted a great chance to score on eighty tow minutes, firing just over under pressure from Crane as he got around the back of the Hednesford defence

Hednesford felt they should have been awarded a penalty on eighty-six minutes, as Quinn's run into the area was halted by a late challenge from Adam Farley, only for the referee to turn away the protests and play on - a decision that amazed everyone inside the ground, including the Burscough players who were resigned to conceding the spot-kick

The win, added to favourable results elsewhere, brings the Pitmen within three points of the top spot after twelve games. Saturday will be a welcome break from league action, with a first-ever visit to Division One South side Carlton Town

Hednesford Town: Crane, Haynes, Shaw (Clarke 62), Monteiro, Gomes, Denny, Osborne, Clements, Robinson (Quinn 45), Wellecomme, Campion © (Benjamin-McFarlane 62)       Subs Unused: Dunkley, Grice


Burscough: Thompson, Comozzi, Crowder, Farley, Connolly ©, Roberts , Parry, Blakeman (Quirk 70), Beesley (Higgins 76), Jones, Brookfield       Subs Unused – Ellison, McCulloch