5.11.2013

Skrill North

Hednesford Town

Francis (9), Osborne (34)

Colwyn Bay

Williams (64)

(2) 2

(0) 1

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MoTM

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566

Paul McCone

W W W W D W D W W W

Crawley Town (H) 9.11.13

The Pitmen extended their unbeaten run to eleven games in all competitions this evening, as a superb first-half display from the hosts set them up for three more Skrill North points against Colwyn Bay at Keys Park

Hednesford came home off the back of four successive away games in league and cup, having claimed wins in three and a draw at Workington in the other. Their lead at the top of the Skrill North was only one point, but with this being one of two games in hand on second-placed North Ferriby United, the Pitmen had a great chance of opening up a small gap on themselves and the rest of the chasing pack at this early stage in the season

Following Saturday's thrilling win at pre-season title favourites Altrincham, manager Rob Smith kept faith in the side that had seen off Alty, with Paul McCone continuing at centre back alongside Francino Francis despite the availability of Ben Bailey again. Nathan Woolfe and Wayne Riley were both missing from the first-team squad after Woolfe had received the devastating news that his father had passed away after he had travelled down from Cheshire with Riley. The Pitmen had announced before kick-off that they had signed Worcester City captain Tom Thorley, with the former Stafford midfielder lining up amongst the substitutes

Colwyn Bay - managed by former Chelsea defender Frank Sinclair - had found the going tough in Skrill North so far this campaign with only three wins to their name so far this term. They arrived at Keys Park off the back of one of these rare wins, however, after inflicting a first defeat of the season on Solihull Moors on Saturday at Llanelian Road

The in-form Elliott Durrell was straight into the action as he looked to add to his two goals at the weekend, firing in an early free-kick that dipped just beyond the post after being deflected away by the Colwyn Bay wall

Dan Crane was called upon for the first time in the evening, saving low down at the second attempt to deny the dangerous former Wrexham striker Marc Williams 

Durrell was pulling out all of the tricks in his locker in an attempt to put the hosts ahead, jinking his way inside from the left-wing and firing straight at player/manager Sinclair

The Pitmen were rewarded for their bright start to the game on nine minutes, as Francis rose highest to head Kris Taylor's deep corner kick home at the far post

A quick counter-attack from the Pitmen almost caught Bay cold midway through the half, as Francis's clearance was chased down by Harvey, who was inches away from collecting the loose ball and bearing down on goal

Francis went close to doubling his, and Hednesford's lead, on twenty-seven minutes, as another towering header was held by Colwyn Bay keeper Chris Sanna

The Pitmen got their second goal of the evening on thirty-four minutes, with Jamey Osborne scoring a sublime fourth goal of the campaign after neat play involving Taylor and Durrell. Osborne was played in on goal, with the midfielder confidently lobbing the ball over Sanna and into the net

A rare foray into the Hednesford half from Bay saw Marc Williams go close to bringing the visitors back into contention on thirty-eight minutes, as his rising shot came back off the crossbar with Crane well beaten

With four minutes of the half remaining, Taylor tried his luck with a left-footed drive that cleared the crossbar after his corner had been headed back to him by Colwyn Bay

Hednesford will have been pleased with their first-half showing, playing neat, precise football and creating a good number of chances against a Colwyn Bay side over-reliant on Marc Williams to carve out chances for himself

Durrell was quickly into the groove at the start of the second half, making a great run from the left before dispatching a powerful shot that Sanna turned away for a corner kick. From the resultant Durrell corner, Harvey headed harmlessly into the hands of Sanna

Paul McCone went close to opening his account for the Pitmen since his recent move from Stourbridge on the hour mark, heading agonisingly wide after coming in at the back post and heading Taylor's kick towards goal

With sixty-four minutes on the clock, Colwyn Bay were gifted a way back into the game courtesy of a mistake from Alex Melbourne, playing well in an unfamiliar left-back position. A regulation clearance by the former Wolves man was charged down by Sean Williams, seizing upon the ball as Melbourne dwelled on it too long. He fed Marc Williams, who fired past Crane from fifteen yards out

This gave Colwyn Bay a real lift, with the Welsh side pushing Hednesford back in the final quarter of the game as they sensed a point. Their next attack saw a Jamie Matthews corner find Marc Williams unmarked, with his header at the far post narrowly wide of goal

The hard-working Robbie Thompson-Brown was replaced by new boy Thorley on sixty-six minutes, giving the Pitmen more steel in the midfield area that was lacking due to Dave MacPherson's continued suspension

Charlie Anagho-Ntamark was also given a late run out by the Pitmen with ten minutes remaining, as he came on in place of Michael Lennon

A frantic final few minutes saw chances at both ends, with Colwyn Bay going close to an equaliser on two occasions; on eighty-eight minutes, another Matthews corner found Marc Williams once again, with his sidefooted effort cleared off the line by John Disney

At the other end, Durrell could have settled the game as a contest a minute later as he picked the ball up fifteen yards out and fired high over the bar from a great position

In the final minute of the game, another Matthews cross caused problems for the stretched Hednesford defence, with Rob Hopley heading the ball against the crossbar before Crane clawed the ball away from Sean Williams

Three nervy minutes of added time was seen off by a visibly relieved Hednesford side, who celebrated another battling victory at Keys Park to stretch their lead to four points at the top of Skrill North. The Pitmen take a well-earned break from league action at the weekend by going up against skybet League One side Crawley Town in the first round of the F.A. Cup in what is likely to be one of the highlights of the club's season

Hednesford Town: Crane, Disney, Melbourne, McCone, Francis ©, Taylor, Osborne , Durrell, Harvey, Lennon (Anagho-Ntamark 80), Thompson-Brown (Thorley 66)      Subs Not Used: Bailey, Campion, Rey

Colwyn Bay: Sanna, Taylor, Lea, Sinclair , Smyth, Crowther (Ellison 46), Evans (Matthews 82), S. Williams, Hopley ©, M. Williams (64), Royle      Subs Unused: East, Moss, Joyce