Evo-Stik Northern Premier League


Roscoe (28)

Hednesford Town

Woolfe (43), Melbourne (87)

(1) 1

(1) 3



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Elliott Durrell


Worksop Town (H) 18.9.12

For the players, manager, officials and supporters of Hednesford Town who witnessed such a humiliating defeat at Victory Park in March, this will have been a sweet moment to savour as the Pitmen avenged their 5-1 hiding from last season to record another win on the road and move into third place in the Evo-Stik table

With injuries and suspensions biting for Rob Smith and Chris Brindley, there were changes to the Hednesford squad ahead of the game; Jamey Osborne was suspended after his red card against Stafford Rangers, with Alex Melbourne deputising in midfield. Sean O'Connor was ruled out with a back injury, allowing Michael Lennon to return to the starting line-up. U-21 players Rico Taylor and Isaac Minott were called up to the first team to fill vacant places on the substitute's bench

Chorley made a flying start to last season's encounter, scoring within two minutes to put the Pitmen on the ropes. They could have been ahead in even quicker time, as Southport loanee Darren Stephenson took advantage of a slip from John Disney after just twenty seconds, rattling the base of Dan Crane's post with a low drive

The Pitmen's response was immediate, with the excellent Elliott Durrell swinging in a free-kick that was headed goalwards by Lennon. However, his effort lacked power and was easily held by Chorley keeper Jack Cudworth

Durrell himself tested Chorley's defence on ten minutes, picking up a ball from Neil Harvey before beating two challenges and firing wide of the far post with a powerful low shot

Back came the hosts, with Dale Whitham firing just wide of goal with a well-hit volley on eighteen minutes that had Crane scrambling across his goal

There has been much excitement from Hednesford fans as to the potential of summer signing Nathan Woolfe, who has already plundered four goals this term from the left-wing. He almost added to his tally midway through the half as he cut inside and lifted his shot over the crossbar

Chorley took the lead six minutes later, with hesitant Pitmen defending costing them dearly. Chris Denham's cross to the far post was misjudged by Crane, who was left in no-man's-land in the six-yard box. Adam Roscoe rose above both Darren Campion and Ben Bailey to loop a header over Crane and into the net

Three minutes later, the Pitmen should have been back on level terms as Durrell forced his way past two Chorley defenders and set the ball into the path of Dave MacPherson, whose weak left-foot shot was saved by Cudworth when he really should have scored

The pacy Stephenson was a constant threat to the Hednesford defence with his power and pace, similar in style and physique to Harvey. A typically burly run saw him get the better of Francino Francis on thirty-two minutes, but his cut-back failed to find anyone in black and white stripes

The Pitmen were rewarded for not allowing their heads to drop two minutes before half time, as MacPherson's industry won a free kick on the edge of the area. Woolfe stepped up to produce a superb dipping, swerving shot that beat Cudworth all ends up at his far post

There was still time at the end of the half for Lennon to exchange passes with Woolfe and volley wide of goal from seven yards out

Woolfe picked up where he left off early in the second half, forcing Cudworth into a smart save with another free-kick from range

Two minutes later, a ball over the top from Melbourne set Harvey on his way. The striker beat his marker and took the ball in on Cudworth, but lacked composure and fired straight at the keeper

The impressive Roscoe again threatened to head home a deep cross on fifty-five minutes, jumping highest to beat Bailey and head towards goal. Campion was alert to the danger and hacked the ball away from goal before Denham could seize upon the ball

On came the dangerous Ciaran Kilheeney for Chorley - a regular goalscorer against the Pitmen in the past - and within two minutes he almost put the home side back into the lead. Stephenson played the striker in on goal with a slip pass, but Crane was equal to Kilheeney's shot with a strong parry

On sixty-six minutes, a long ball over the top caused Cudworth to race out of goal and deny Harvey a chance with what looked suspiciously like a handball outside the penalty area. The rebound dropped kindly for the Barbados International, but his lob over Cudworth lacked direction

The hard-working Lennon was replaced on sixty-seven minutes, with the pacy Aaron Rey - a former Chorley player - brought on in his place

Chorley's quality strikers continued to plug away, but more often than not were let down by a poor final ball into the box. Roscoe was again a threat in the air on seventy-five minutes, heading over the bar from a left-wing cross

The extra pace of Rey gave the Pitmen a different approach to the game, with the forward working the wings well as he looked to stretch the Chorley defence in the final ten minutes. After winning a corner kick on eighty minutes, his presence allowed Francis to ghost into the area and head wide of goal from Durrell's flag-kick

As the minutes ticked down, with many expecting both sides to take a useful point from the game, the Pitmen hit Chorley with a sucker punch on eighty-seven minutes. Rey played the ball to Durrell, who in turn slipped the ball into the path of Melbourne. Rather than square the ball to Harvey, who had darted into the penalty area, Melbourne kept his cool to slip the ball under Cudworth from twelve yards out

Two late substitutions from the Pitmen saw Sam Barnes and Minott come on to run the clock down, as Chorley ran out of time to work out a response. Three hard-earned points for Smith's team moved them up to third place in the table, with the Pitmen eyeing up top spot when Worksop Town visit Keys Park on Tuesday night

Chorley: Cudworth, Ross, Barnes (Foster 89), Teague ©, Russell, Garner, Roscoe, Whitham, Denham (Kilheeney 69), Stephenson, Ince      Subs Unused: Cunliffe, Jansen, Williams

Hednesford Town: Crane, Disney, Campion, Bailey, Francis, MacPherson © , Melbourne, Durrell, Harvey (Minott 90), Lennon (Rey 69), Woolfe (Barnes 89)       Subs Unused: Clarke, Taylor

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