31.1.2015

Vanarama Conference North

Colwyn Bay

Gloucester City

McCone (68), (73), Batchelor (77)

(0) 0

(0) 3

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Jack Thomas

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Guiseley (A) 14.2.15

An outstanding second-half display from the ten men of Hednesford saw Rob Smith's troops hammer struggling Colwyn Bay with three unanswered goals to lift them to the giddy heights of fourth in the Vanarama Conference North table this afternoon

A well-earned win over one of Colwyn Bay's main rivals for the bottom three - Gloucester City - last Tuesday saw the Pitmen record their third game without defeat in a win that had moved them into the play-off places for the first time this season. This afternoon's trip to North Wales saw the Pitmen look to compensate for the loss of the in-form Jamey Osborne, with the midfield man serving a first of a two-match suspension. Glenn Walker was restored to the starting line-up in Osborne's place, with Rob Smith sticking with the same side that had beaten Gloucester in midweek

Colwyn Bay's season had seen them flirt with the relegation spots for several weeks, with new manager Gus Williams unable to call upon the services of striker Marc Williams for the game as Bay looked to keep themselves out of trouble near the foot of the table. They were able to call upon new signing Tom Buckley however after the midfielder had returned to the club from Salford City

Bay's Wes Baynes fired high over the bar with the first chance of the game in the third minute, lifting his effort way over Dan Crane's goal with an opportunistic volley from the edge of the penalty area

Top scorer Obi Anorou - a scorer at Keys Park back in October when Bay won 2-0 - was forced off after just five minutes after turning his knee, with Buckley coming on in his place

Hednesford's first opportunity came in the eighth minute through captain Darren Campion, as the left-back surged into the penalty area from out wide and fired a low shot into the side netting

Loan striker Nick Rushton looked to add to his first Hednesford goal at Worcester last weekend, trying his luck with an overhead kick that was off target and failed to test Chris Sanna in the Colwyn Bay goal

The Pitmen were forced into another hasty re-organisation of their defence for the fourth time this month on eighteen minutes, as Campion was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Buckley which the referee deemed dangerous and promptly gave the Hednesford skipper his marching orders. Glenn Walker was pushed back into the left-back role and Ben Bailey assumed the captaincy following Campion's dismissal 

Despite the disruption to their personnel, Hednesford went close to opening the scoring on twenty-one minutes through Tom Thorley, who curled a free-kick beyond the Colwyn Bay wall and forced Sanna into a flying save to his right

Dan Crane made an equally superb save for the Pitmen four minutes later, punching Jordan Bove's long-range shot around the post for a corner to the home side   

With the wind at their backs, Bay pressed their depleted opponents but lacked any real cutting edge without the talents of Anorou and Williams, failing to take advantage of a succession of corner kicks that Hednesford dealt with easily

The impressive Jack Thomas was once again showcasing his growing reputation as a creative midfielder, playing several incisive passes and darting runs around the Colwyn Bay penalty area. A ball laid back into his path by Marvin Robinson on thirty-four minutes saw the youngster fire over the crossbar with a rising shot from the edge of the area

Robinson had a great chance to put the Pitmen ahead just before half time, turning Richard Batchelor's deep cross just wide of the far post with a neat flick

After regrouping at half time, the Pitmen started the second half with the considerable wind at their backs and used it to good effect as they pushed the hosts back into their own half

Robinson sliced his first chance of the half wide of goal on forty-nine minutes, putting James Hurst's cross wide of goal from a good position inside the penalty area

Sanna made a smart save on fifty-six minutes, turning Paul McCone's effort over the crossbar after the centre back had prodded the ball towards goal

From the resultant corner kick, Ben Bailey's goalbound header was also palmed over the crossbar by Colwyn Bay's number one as the ten men continued to press for an unlikely goal

The powerful Robinson was given a well-earned rest by the away side on sixty-two minutes, as Steve Diggin was introduced in his place to add more guile to the forward line

Sanna was called upon to deny the Pitmen once again on sixty-five minutes, turning Walker's shot from an angle around the post and conceding yet another corner for the visitors

The pressure on Bay's defence finally told on sixty-eight minutes, as Thorley's free-kick was flicked on by Batchelor into the path of McCone, who stabbed the ball home from ten yards out for his third goal of the season

Thorley - still looking for his first goal of the season - tried his luck with a powerful long-range effort on seventy-two minutes, but dragged his shot just wide of Sanna's post

It was one-way traffic at this point in the game, as Bay simply couldn't cope with the Pitmen's powerful attacking threat, particularly from set-pieces. The second goal duly arrived on seventy-three minutes, as Bailey's inch-perfect cross was met by the head of central defensive partner McCone, who powered his effort beyond the dive of Sanna to double his - and the Pitmen's - tally for the afternoon
 
One loanee replaced another three minutes later, as George McGee came on in place of Rushton to add pace to a supremely confident Hednesford side

The Pitmen finished the game as a contest on seventy-seven minutes, as another Thorley free-kick fell to Batchelor, who forced the ball home from close range for his third Hednesford goal to send the Hednesford fans into raptures

Thomas was given a generous reception by the away supporters as he was replaced a minute later, with Alex Melbourne coming on in his place to add more protection to the defensive line

Diggin went close to adding to his week's goal tally with three minutes remaining, driving a shot wide from a tight angle after escaping the Bay defence

A tremendous away result for the Pitmen moves them up above Guiseley in the table, courtesy of the Yorkshire club not playing due to a frozen pitch. A tough test now awaits the Pitmen next weekend with the visit of AFC Fylde, who will offer a severe test of Hednesford's recent form and confidence during a fruitful and entertaining January schedule

Colwyn Bay: Sanna, Taylor, Moss, Wilson, Lea, Royle, Anoruo (Buckley 5), Noone, Hopley, Baynes, Bove (Haywood 70)      Subs Unused: Rees, Saeil, Olapade

Hednesford Town: Crane, Hurst, Campion © (18), Bailey, McCone, Thorley, Thomas (Melbourne 78), Walker, Robinson (Diggin 62), Rushton (McGee 75), Batchelor      Subs Unused: Westwood

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