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Vanarama Conference North

Hednesford Town

Colwyn Bay

Hopley (55), Anorou (68)

(0) 0

(2) 2



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Tom Peers


Hyde (H) 11.10.14

After turning in their best performance of the season to defeat Boston United on Saturday, the same Hednesford team left their supporters and manager flummoxed, frustrated and angry as they produced arguably their worst ninety minutes of an already disjointed campaign to allow Colwyn Bay to claim all three points at Keys Park this evening

Having returned from York Street with all three points at the weekend, manager Rob Smith could be forgiven for naming the same side for this evening's game, sticking with the unpopular three centre backs formation that finally came to fruition against Boston. Steve Diggin was again named amongst the substitutes as he looked to step up his fitness after a long lay-off injured

Colwyn Bay had started the season in reasonable form, with Frank Sinclair's side defying their pre-season title as relegation candidates to lie in a mid-table position. Saturday had seen them on the end of a 5-3 defeat at home to the free-scoring Oxford City, leaving them just below the Pitmen in the table at the start of play

The first fifteen minutes of the game was a cagey affair, with neither side able to force the opposition keeper into a save. Paul Sullivan - lifted by his first goal of the season on Saturday - almost got in behind the Bay defence on nineteen minutes, but was denied by a last-ditch tackle by Joel Bembo-Leta as he stretched to clear the through ball

Bay's Anthony Stephens wasted a good opening for the visitors a minute later, firing well over the crossbar and into the Heath Hayes end with a wild free-kick from twenty-five yards out

Stephens was again guilty of wastefulness on twenty-four minutes, driving well wide of Dan Crane's goal from the edge of the penalty area with a low shot that the Hednesford stopper watched wide of his left-hand post

The hosts forced successive corner kicks on the half-hour mark, with the second corner from Darren Campion finding the head of Ben Bailey at the near post; his flick-on found central defensive partner Paul McCone, whose weak header was easily fielded by Josh Ollerenshaw in the Colwyn Bay goal

The pressure started to build on the Bay defence as the half headed towards half time, with Jamey Osborne playing Danny Glover in on goal on thirty-seven minutes. The striker managed to get goal side of Bembo-Leta but fired narrowly wide of goal with an angled drive

Former Wrexham man Marc Williams should have given the visitors the lead on forty minutes, as his scuffed shot was hacked off the line by Bailey when a clean connection would surely have led to a goal for the striker

With three minutes left in the half, the Pitmen were denied the opening goal courtesy of an offside flag against Glover. A low cross from Alex Melbourne via the foot of Sullivan found Glover lurking, with the striker turning the ball past Ollerenshaw from close range. His celebrations, however, were cut short as he was adjudged to have stepped into an offside position before Melbourne had crossed the ball

Osborne - struggling for form in recent weeks as he had continued to shake off the after-effects of his dislocated shoulder from the back end of last season - went close to putting the Pitmen into the lead a minute after the restart, heading Campion's deep, swerving cross straight at Ollerenshaw from close range

The hosts were made to regret not taking their chances on fifty-five minutes, as Bay took the lead with a well-worked goal. After picking the ball up in midfield, Obi Anoruo made a darting run down the wing before pulling the ball back into the path of Rob Hopley, who swept the ball past Crane from eight yards out

Bay's opener prompted Smith to once again scrap his three centre back formation mid-game, with Tom Peers coming on for Chris Westwood and Tom Thorley replacing the ineffective Jamie Crowther in midfield

Right-back James Hurst made one of his regular forays forwards on sixty-five minutes, picking up Campion's cross and driving his powerful shot over the crossbar from twenty yards out

More defensive indecision once again was the Pitmen's undoing on sixty-eight minutes, as Bay doubled their lead following a partially cleared corner kick. After dealing with the initial threat, the Hednesford defence hesitated as they watched Williams' ball back into the penalty area, assuming there would be an offside flag against the lurking figure of Anoruo. The flag never came, however, with Anoruo turning the ball past Crane without challenge

With little left to lose on a disappointing evening for his side, Smith made his final substitution two minutes later as Diggin was given an extended run-out after a brief cameo debut at Boston

Osborne again went close with a headed effort on seventy-three minutes, glancing Thorley's free-kick just wide of the far post

The Pitmen's attacking threat had almost totally dissipated during a poor, disjointed second-half showing, with Peers offering brief respite as he chased down the Bay defenders and offered enthusiasm and pace. Otherwise, many of the team's top performers failed to show up against a spirited, but limited, Colwyn Bay side

A round of set-pieces on eighty-five minutes failed to fire the Pitmen up, with Ollerenshaw and his defence easily seeing the game out as Hednesford spluttered through the final few minutes

So, a hugely disappointing evening for anyone of a Hednesford persuasion, with the last four days summing up the season so far - good in some places, bad in others, frustrating in the main. Expect more changes to the set-up when Hyde make the trip to Keys Park on Saturday, as Smith and his management team yet again look for a reaction from their misfiring side

Hednesford Town: Crane, Hurst, Campion ©, Bailey, McCone, Westwood (Peers 59), Osborne , Crowther (Thorley 59), Glover, Sullivan (Diggin 70), Melbourne       Subs Unused: Robinson, Ashmore

Colwyn Bay: Ollerenshaw, Olapade, Stevens, Royle, Bembo-Leta, Noone, Buckley (Mendez 79), Anoruo (Anjos 87), Holey, Williams ©, Baynes ▆ (Haywood 75)       Subs Unused: Sharpe, Hodgson

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