Pitching In Southern Premier League Central

Hednesford Town

Coalville Town

Shaw (20), Berridge (34), Kee (50)

(0) 0

(2) 3



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Ben Bailey



Stratford Town (H) 10.10.20

The Pitmen slump to the foot of the Southern Premier League Central table this evening as the pressure on manager Andy Morrell continues to grow after another impotent performance against high-flying Coalville Town at the PRG Stadium @ Keys Park

Saturday's penalty kick defeat at home to step four Halesowen Town had left Morrell's men without a goal in three successive games coming into tonight's encounter, with Morrell having to plug gaps all over the pitch due to the unavailability of key players; Jose Veiga continued in goal after regular stopper Andy Wycherley failed a late fitness test on a trapped nerve in his shoulder, whilst top scorer Danny Glover was missing due to suspension after being sent off at Banbury United last Tuesday night and was replaced by Louis Dodds. Will Norcross had suffered an injury early on in Saturday's cup tie and was also ruled out, meaning Lee Smith came in for his first start since returning to the club. The final of four changes saw Kieron Dawes dropped in favour of George Cater down the right flank

Coalville had started the season well, remaining unbeaten in the league so far in their three games played. A narrow defeat against Vanarama National  League North side Alfreton Town at Owen Street at the weekend had seen Adam Stevens' men suffer their first reverse of the season, with Stevens making only one change to the side that had started against Alfreton as former Tamworth man Rhys Hoenes was ruled out due to injury and replaced by Tom McGlinchey

The Keys Park pitch had held up well in face of the wet and wild conditions of the previous few days and looked superb under the floodlights. The men in white started well enough in the opening exchanges as Cater did well to win an early free-kick on the edge of the Coalville penalty area. However, Jack Hallahan's free-kick was too deep for anyone to get purchase on the ball as it drifted well wide of the far post


 Good build-up play from the Pitmen in the seventh minute saw the ball worked out to Rhys Thompson down the right flank, with his cross flashing across the face of the Coalville goal and just wide of the far post

Another positive move down the left from the hosts in the eleventh minute saw Hallahan and Cater link up well for the former Chasetown man to cross into the danger zone, only for the experienced Chris Robertson to hack the ball clear

Coalville skipper Steve Towers was an early recipient of a yellow card as a poor challenge on Thompson in the midfield angered the home side and forced referee Mr Durnall into booking the player

Coalville produced their best chance of the opening spell on fifteen minutes as a quick one-two down the left wing saw Luke Shaw cut inside before unleashing a low shot that Veiga parried away from goal

With their next meaningful attack, however, the Ravens took the lead on twenty minutes as Shaw got his angles right on this occasion, cutting in from the left wing before firing a low shot beyond the reach of Veiga and finding the far corner of the net with an angled shot. Poor from the hosts, however, who should have closed the player down as he looked to find a pocket of space just inside the Hednesford penalty area

The away side went close to doubling their lead three minutes later as Billy Kee laid the ball off to McGlinchey down the right flank; he slipped past the challenge of Carter Lycett and fired an angled drive just over the crossbar

A minute later, midfielder Joe Doyle-Charles made a driving run into the Hednesford penalty area from deep but pulled his low shot just wide of Veiga's far post from fifteen yards out

At the other end, Hallahan picked up a loose ball and tried his luck from the edge of the Coalville penalty area, but saw his shot partially blocked by Robertson and the ball ended up safely in the arms of the vastly experienced Saul Deeney in the Coalville goal

The visitors were firmly in charge of the game and finally added to their goal tally on thirty-four minutes; McGlinchey turned provider for Tom Berridge - a scorer here in both league and F.A. Trophy games last season - who fired a low shot beyond Veiga from twenty-five yards out and into the right-hand corner of the net. The 43-year-old stopper will no doubt have been disappointed at not getting to a shot that, while accurate, seemed to drift past the veteran keeper en route to goal

Smith forced Deeney into action on thirty-six minutes from a deep Sam Griffiths cross, only to loop a header tamely into the Northern Irishman's hands from the edge of the penalty area

Summer signing Kee - the former Accrington Stanley and Burton Albion man - went close to adding to the Pitmen's misery with six minutes of the first-half remaining, but headed a deep cross from Kian Taylor just wide of the far post with Veiga has beaten

A Hednesford corner kick in the final minute of the half was floated into the area by Dodds and found the boot of Thompson, whose scuffed effort at goal was eventually cleared at the third time of asking by the Coalville defence

It had been a poor half from the Pitmen, who had been a solid second best despite a bright start to the game. Coalville had looked every inch the experienced, powerful side that their reputation suggested and had out-passed and out-played Morrell's demoralised troops. Half-time saw the ineffective Smith replaced by Dan Sweeney as the hosts change their formation in search of that elusive goal to get back into contention


Sweeney had an early looping effort turned over the bar by Deeney, but any hope of the Pitmen getting back into the game were extinguished within five minutes of the restart as Coalville put the game to bed with a third goal of the night; Shaw was allowed to run at goal by the retreating Hednesford defence before his low shot at goal was parried by Veiga. The ball ran kindly for the incoming Kee, who had the simple task of tapping the ball from close-range without a white shirt in sight tracking back

It almost got worse for the home side four minutes later as man of the match Ben Bailey came to his side's rescue with a goal-saving clearance to turn a cross from Kalern Thomas away from Berridge, who would have had the simple task of turning the ball into the empty net at the far post

From the resultant corner kick, Thomas's deep cross was headed just over the crossbar by Kee, who beat Callam Mendez-Jones to the ball in the air to head narrowly over

Dodds tried his luck with a clever chipped shot for the Pitmen on fifty-eight minutes but was denied by a smart save from Deeney to turn the ball behind at his near post for a corner kick

The tricky Shaw was having a fine game for Coalville, giving the Pitmen's defence a torrid time with his skill and movement; he played the ball across to Doyle-Charles on sixty-two minutes, but the combative midfielder drilled a low shot wide of Veiga's right-hand post

Three minutes later, Thomas's cross was partially cleared by Bailey to McGlinchey, who took a touch before clipping a shot just wide of the far post from twelve yards out

The Pitmen made their second change of a poor evening's work on sixty-eight minutes as summer signing Mitch Woakes was handed a debut by Morrell, coming on in place of Dodds in midfield

Hallahan was booked for the Pitmen on seventy minutes for a late tackle on Shaw before a quick break from the hosts saw them win a corner out on the right-hand side, which was taken by Hallahan. He found Mendez-Jones with a floated corner kick only for the centre-back to fire over the crossbar

Veiga made a good stop low down to deny Berridge two minutes later, pushing the striker's shot away after another quick break from the Ravens down their right flank

Sweeney's presence on the edge of the Coalville penalty area saw him win a free-kick with fifteen minutes remaining. The same player took the resultant kick and forced Deeney into a good save at his near post with a curling effort that the former Burton keeper pushed behind for a corner

On eighty minutes, Deeney was called upon to make a smart double save to deny both Sweeney and Dan Turner before pushing the ball away for a corner kick to the Pitmen

Both sides seemed to have settled for their relative fates at this point as the game started to Peter out and chances became scarce. Coalville had a great chance to add to their tally however in the final minute of the game as Bailey gifted the ball to substitute Alex Dean, whose initial was well saved by Veiga before the same player drove the rebound onto the top of the crossbar from twelve yards out

It had been a rotten evening for the supporters that had turned out to support the hosts, who had watched their side be out-played in every area of the pitch. It's now four games in a row since they last scored a goal and confidence is at an all-time low. Morrell has much to do if he is to re-energise and motivate his deflated squad and will most likely have to move some of his ineffective summer signings on in the next few days and weeks to bring in more effective performers. A third home game in a row is on the cards for the Pitmen on Saturday as they play host to Stratford Town, who have made a fine start to the new season and will offer another tough test for this out-of-form Hednesford side

Hednesford Town: Veiga, Griffiths, Lycett, Bailey © , Mendez-Jones, Smith (Sweeney 45), Cater, Hallahan , Thompson, Dodds (Woakes 68), Turner        Sub Unused: Preston, Campbell-Gordon

Coalville Town: Deeney, Thomas, Taylor , Eggleton, Robertson, Towers © ▆ (Ogunmekan 87), Shaw (Dean 83), Doyle-Charles, Berridge (Smith 72), Kee, McGlinchey      Subs Unused: Bowles, Pierpoint

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