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Dr. Martens Southern Premier League

Hednesford Town

Ryder (11), Brindley (53)

Chelmsford City

Cross (88)

(1) 2

(0) 1




Current Form

Next Match


Chris Brindley



Grantham Town (A) 9.9.03

The Pitmen register their first home win of the season at the third attempt this afternoon as they edge out bottom side Chelmsford City at Keys Park to move into the relative safety of a mid-table position in the Dr. Martens Southern Premier League

Tuesday's goalless draw against the much-fancied Nuneaton Borough had given manager Barry Powell plenty of reasons to be positive, although two successive games without a goal remained a cause for concern. Teenager Damien Charie had finally shaken off the injury he had suffered in pre-season to come straight back into the starting line-up in place of Anthony Maguire, whilst Chris Brindley deputised for the suspended Darren Simkin in the centre of defence as the Pitmen went in search of that elusive first home win of 2003-2004

Chelmsford had started the season in terrible form under new manager Steve Mosley, who had taken over from Paul Parker in the summer after great success at Aveley, losing three and drawing three of their opening six games to date. Monday night had seen the Clarets draw 0-0 with Grantham Town to leave them three points from safety going into today's game. Mosley made only one change to the side that had started against Grantham, bringing Dale Watkins back into the side in favour of former Hednesford loanee Luke Corbett, who had recently joined the club on loan from Cheltenham Town

On a bright, sunny early autumn afternoon at Keys Park, the Pitmen went about their business briskly as they looked to strike early on against their struggling opponents; a sixth-minute effort from Nathan Lamey tested the reflexes of Paul Nicholls in the Chelmsford goal with the former Chelsea trainee doing well to palm the striker's bouncing shot away from goal

Two minutes later, a dangerous corner kick from Les Hines found the head of Brindley, only for the veteran to head over the crossbar as he stretched to reach the ball at the far post


Brindley was, however, involved in the Pitmen's opening goal on eleven minutes, as he again stole in at the far post to reach another well-struck Hines free-kick, heading the ball back across goal this time to allow defensive partner Stuart Ryder to head the ball past Nicholls from close range for his first goal of the season


The home side continued to press against a nervy-looking Chelmsford defence, with Lamey testing Nicholls once more three minutes later with a powerfully struck low drive that Nicholls did well to hold

The Pitmen were still susceptible at the back, however, and almost gifted the Clarets an equaliser in the eighteenth minute as they allowed Matt Jones to nip in and head a Gary Cross corner just over the crossbar

Back came the Pitmen, who created an opening for Anthrobus on twenty-five minutes through neat interplay from Carl Palmer and Karl Brown, only for the veteran striker to scuff his shot into the ground and weakly fire wide of goal

Two minutes later, Steve Norman was given him all the time in the world to pick his spot twenty yards from the Hednesford goal; his well-struck effort whistled inches wide of Ryan Young's left-hand post to remind the Pitmen that there was still much to do to earn the points

Lamey lashed a wild shot wide of goal on thirty-three minutes after Charie's clever through-ball had found him in behind the Chelmsford defence, followed two minutes later by an effort from Steve Palmer that cleared the stand at the Hednesford end of the ground after Ashley Williams had passed it to him on the edge of the Chelmsford penalty area

Three minutes before the interval, Russ Edwards denied Lamey a certain goal with a timely interception from Karl Brown's first-time cross to turn the ball behind for a corner and deny the former Moor Green man a first Pitmen goal

Chelmsford started the second half well through Watkins, who turned a shot over the crossbar from ten yards out after Cross had intercepted a lazy pass from Williams and sent over a dangerous ball into the Hednesford penalty area

Two minutes later, a long ball forwards from Wes Faulkner caught the Hednesford defence out as he found Watkins, who looked to be in an offside position when he picked up the long ball. Despite the Hednesford defenders appealing for offside, the game continued with Watkins lobbing Young and just clearing the crossbar with his effort 

This was to cost the visitors dearly, as the hosts doubled their lead on fifty-three minutes; it was another excellent delivery from Hines, who continues to grow into his role as a fine left wing-back, swinging in a cross from the wing that found the head of Brindley, who had the simple task of nodding the ball past Nicholls from a couple of yards out for his second goal of the season

The Pitmen now had a swagger about their play with a two-goal advantage, playing some of the best football they have done so far this term with Carl Palmer and Brown impressing with their quick, incisive passing style in midfield

A superb ball from Steve Palmer on fifty-nine minutes found Anthrobus, whose great turn left Ross Alberton on the floor, only for the shot to lack any real venom as Nicholls made a simple save

A minute later, Young's long ball forwards was flicked on by Anthrobus and into the path of Lamey, who appeared to be found by Simon Clarke as he laid the ball off to Charie, only for the referee to cleverly play advantage. Charie jinked his way past the onrushing Nicholls, who forced the youngster wide enough for him to turn his shot into the side netting from an acute angle

Williams made a marauding run down the right-wing on sixty-three minutes, beating three players in the process before sending over a cross that was flicked wide of the far post by Carl Palmer

Corbett came on for the visitors a minute later in Chelmsford's first change of the afternoon, coming on in place of Faulkner as Chelmsford used another player forwards in search of a way back into the game

Brindley went close to scoring a replica of his goal earlier in the half as he rose to meet another Hines free-kick, only for the over-worked Nicholls to make a great save on his line to push the ball away from danger

Young almost presented Chelmsford with a way back into the game on seventy-three minutes, inexplicably dropping a simple cross from Ian Wiles at the feet of Danny Curran, only for man of the match Brindley to make a timely interception to hack the ball clear before the midfielder could get his shot away

Chelmsford were now playing a much higher line as they looked to a foothold back into the game, leaving gaps behind their defence that Lamey looked to exploit with his pace. A long, raking ball forwards from Steve Palmer on seventy-nine minutes found Lamey darting in behind the away defence, only for a late, late offside flag on the main stand side to pull up the striker as he shaped to shoot

With the game petering away, Chelmsford did indeed give themselves a lifeline with two minutes to goal to set up a grandstand finish; a cross from Wiles was not effectively cleared by the Hednesford defence, allowing Cross to seize upon the loose ball and volley past Young from ten yards out to reduce arrears

The Pitmen did hold on, however, despite a late flurry of crosses from the away side, to earn themselves a first well-deserved home win of the season against opponents that struggled to create many openings in the final third to highlight their current predicament in the league. Powell's side are on their travels once more on Tuesday night as they make a trip to Grantham Town, who have had another goods tart to the season and currently sit in the play-off places following a 3-2 win over Weston-Super-Mare this afternoon

Hednesford Town: Young, Williams, Hines, Charie, Brindley, Ryder, S. Palmer ©, C. Palmer, Anthrobus, Lamey, Brown      Subs Unused: Swann, Lake, Danks, Dodd, P. Evans

Chelmsford City: Nicholls, Faulkner (Corbett 64), Clarke, Alberton, Edwards ©, Wiles, Cross, Jones (Street 76), Watkins, Norman, Curran     Subs Unused: Lay, Allison, Smith

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