F.A. Cup 1st Qualifying Round Replay

Cleethorpes Town

Lowe (52), Donald (65)

Hednesford Town

Landell (32)

(0) 2

(1) 1



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Andre Landell



Barwell (H) 11.9.21

The Pitmen's F.A. Cup dream once again ends at the first qualifying round stage as they are unceremoniously dumped out of the competition by Pitching In Northern Premier League Division One East hosts Cleethorpes Town in tonight's replay

Saturday had seen the Pitmen throw away an early lead at Keys Park to allow their lower league opponents to earn themselves a replay in the process. Manager Keenen Meakin-Richards was without Saturday's debutant Chay Tilt or the injured Ryan Pryce so brought Jack Chambers and Courtney Richards back into the side in place of the pair for tonight's game

Cleethorpes returned to the Linden Club after very nearly completing the job in the first game on Saturday as they finished strongly. Manager Dave Smith made one change of his own for tonight's replay as Harry Middleton came back in for Liam Dickens in midfield for the Owls

The Pitmen's journey up to Cleethorpes had been a fraught one with an accident on the M18 delaying their arrival and pushing the kick-off time back to 8 pm in the process with very little time to warm up

On a mild evening in Lincolnshire and front of an impressive crowd of 404, the hosts were to have the first real opening of the game in the seventh minute as Josh Batty exchanged passes with Josh Venney to open up the Hednesford back line, only for Venney to lash his long-range effort high over the crossbar

The Pitmen were struggling to settle into the game after their long ordeal in trying to get to the ground, with the familiar spectre of simple misplaced passes punctuating any progress they were making going forwards. A loose ball by Richards in the eleventh minute was seized upon by Venney before he was crowded out by the men in sky blue before he could get his shot away

Cleethorpes centre-back Oli Donald went close to opening the scoring for the hosts in the sixteenth minute as a lofted cross from the left from Laurence McKay was flicked goalwards by Donald, who rose highest to divert the ball just wide of Andy Wycherley's left-hand post

Donald was on the end of another deep cross, this time from Middleton's right-wing ball in three minutes later but headed over the crossbar as he clashed with Josh Webb at the far post

McKay was next to try his luck for the dominant hosts as got on the end of a flowing move through midfield but drove his twenty-five yards shot just wide of the post in the nineteenth minute

The Pitmen finally started to get themselves back into the game through the like of Todd Parker, who showed good composure on the ball, and the dangerous Andre Landell, looking to add to his recent goal tally

Andre Brown was shown a late offside flag by the assistant on the far side on twenty-four minutes as he moved a touch too early to get on the end of a fine pass from Landell

Landell himself was adjudged to be offside three minutes later as he raced onto a Ben Bailey pass but again came from an offside position to receive the ball

The Pitmen's brightest spell of the game so far saw them take the lead just after the half-hour after another period of pressure down the left flank. Lewis Ison's long throw was cleared for a corner kick, which Carter Lycett swung into the penalty area and saw the ball returned to him. The youngster's low ball back into the box found Landell, who sidefooted the ball past Tom Jackson in the Cleethorpes goal to grab his fifth goal of the season so far

Four minutes later, the dangerous Landell carved a chance out for himself after brilliantly turning past two Cleethorpes players and making a run into the danger zone, but saw his powerfully struck shot fly just wide of the upright

Back came the home side and Venney drove a low shot well wide of Wycherley's goal on thirty-eight minutes, before Donald once again headed over the crossbar from an Alex Flett free-kick out on the right-hand side with three minutes of the first half remaining

The Pitmen were back in the position they had been in on Saturday - leading the tie but not exactly looking convincing about it in the process as they struggled to cope with the Cleethorpes aggression and territorial advantage that they had enjoyed. Brown was taken off at the break and replaced by young winger Callum King-Harmes, meaning a reshuffle up front that saw Landell playing in a more central role vacated by Brown

Any positive half-time words that Meakin-Richards and Graham Deakin had handed to the players was completely ignored as they allowed the Owls to equalise with their first effort of the second period on fifty-two minutes; Sam Topliss brushed off a weak challenge from Chambers and played the ball out to McKay on the wing, who turned past Webb and stood up a cross to the far post, where half-time substitute Tim Lowe was given time to head home from close-range unmarked

The Pitmen were on the back foot and struggling to find an answer to the Cleethorpes attacking threat - three minutes after the goal, a long throw from Jordan Cooke was headed across his own goal by King-Harmes and into the path of Lowe once more, only for the Owls number seventeen to lift his close-range effort over the crossbar

The visitors finally showed some attacking instinct through a Richards free-kick on fifty-seven minutes with the midfielder floating a ball into the far post where Kyle Rowley's downward header was saved by Jackson

A minute later, Flett's inswinging corner kick almost caught Wycherley out at his far post and had to rely on the stopper just about getting across to tip the ball away for another Cleethorpes corner kick

The Pitmen made their second change of the night as another teenager was introduced to proceedings on sixty-four minutes as Joe Morley came on in place of the disappointing Chambers

The pressure on the Hednesford goal started to crank up again with the hosts forcing successive corner kicks out on the right flank, with the eventual winner coming from a Flett flag kick on sixty-five minutes; a flat ball in from Flett was met by the head of Donald, whose downward header across goal seemed to catch Wycherley out and bobbled past him and over the line

With their tails up, the home side peppered the Hednesford goal with chances as the game entered its final quarter, with skipper Flett drilling a low shot just wide of goal on seventy minutes

Before the game could restart, the Pitmen made their final change of the evening as Sam Griffiths came on at right-back in place of the tiring Webb, who had had the runaround all evenin g from McKay down the flank

Landell saw his name being taken by referee Mr Gough four minutes later as he flattened Donald with a flailing arm and was shown a yellow card for his actions

The closest the Pitmen came to levelling matters fell at the feet of Landell three minutes later as Morley's lay-off to the striker saw him snatch at the ball and lift it high over the crossbar from the edge of the Cleethorpes penalty area

Cleethorpes nearly wrapped up the tie on eighty-two minutes as the Pitmen failed to clear their lines and saw Brody Robertson pick up the ball, but saw his dipping shot from twenty yards out just clear Wycherley's crossbar 

Ben Bailey was pushed forwards for the away side in the closing minutes in a bid to force home the equaliser that would take them into extra time and the Hednesford skipper was given a late chance to grab a leveller in the final minute as Landell's lofted ball in from the left was met by the burly defender, only for his header to fall into the hands of Jackson on his line

The home side held out in added time to record their second win over the Pitmen in five seasons, with the two games following an eerily similar pattern to the F.A. Trophy games between the two sides back in 2017-2018. They will now move into the second qualifying round to face Vanarama National League North side Alfreton Town at home, whilst the Pitmen will be left without a game as they are left to ponder their poor performances in both games over the past few days and a first defeat of a season in the process. They return to league action on Saturday afternoon as they face one of their recent bogey sides in the form of Barwell at the PRG Stadium @ Keys Park

Cleethorpes Town: Jackson, Walker, McKay  (Oglesby 78), Topliss, Donald, Cooke, Middleton (Lowe 45), Flett ©, Robertson, Venney, Batty (Stead 90)       Subs Unused: Smaller, Pettinger

Hednesford Town: Wycherley, Webb (Griffiths 70), Lycett, Bailey ©, Ison, Rowley, Parker, Richards , Brown (King-Harmes 45 ), Landell , Chambers (Morley 64)     Subs Unused: Hanna, Griffiths, Wollaston