Match deleted from records in MaY 2020 after 2019-2020 season voided due to coronavirus

25.1.2020

BetVictor Southern Premier League Central

Hednesford Town

Bailey (46)

Stourbridge

Tonks (16), Willets (68)

(0) 1

(1) 2

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

515

Elliot Hodge

D L W L L W L W D L

 

St.Ives Town (A) 28.1.20

The Pitmen continue to find the going tough at home as they suffer their third successive defeat at the PRG Stadium @ Keys Park at the hands of local rivals Stourbridge this afternoon

Tuesday night's hard-fought point against AFC Rushden & Diamonds had extended the Pitmen's unbeaten run away from home to three matches, at odds with their recent home form that had seen the Pitmen fail to register a win at home since defeating Stratford Town before Christmas. The interim management team decided to make one change to the side that had earned themselves a point at Hayden Road in midweek as Elliot Hodge returned to the starting line-up in place of Izak Reid. Goalkeeper Shaun Rowley was making his home debut after two man of the match performances away from home since joining the club on loan nine days ago

Stourbridge's league season had once again been punctuated by cup runs, with the Glassboys starting the game two places below the Pitmen in the table with a large number of games in hand over all of the teams around them. Manager Ian Long selected an unchanged side from the one that had beaten another local rival and his former club Alvechurch in midweek, naming former Hednesford men Anthony Dwyer and Andre Landell in his squad for today's mid-table clash

A very decent 500 plus crowd witnessed a cautious start to proceedings from both sides, with James Hurst incurring the wrath of the referee inside the first five minutes after an aggressive challenge on the opinionated Stourbridge skipper Tom Tonks and receiving a stern talking-to

The first real sight at goal for either side fell to Hednesford's top scorer Danny Glover in the tenth minute as the striker got goal side of Jamie Willets to meet a Hurst flick-on, only to slice his shot well wide of goal from the edge of the Stourbridge penalty area

Hurst earned himself what was to be a costly booking a minute later after bringing down Tonks although the Stour midfielder was failing to win over a cynical home crowd with what appeared to be a bout of play-acting to help influence the referee's ultimate decision to book Hurst

Tonks was the centre of attention once more in the sixteenth minute, as he gave the visitors the lead with a controversial effort; after running into the Hednesford penalty area from the right flank, Tonks appeared to push over Osebi Abadaki as the pair challenged for the ball. Abadaki fell to the floor, allowing Tonks to lash the ball into the far corner of the net with a low angled drive

The Glassboys were forced into an early change up front in the nineteenth minute, with Landell coming on for the injured Alex Nicholls, a man whose career has been blighted by bad fortune with injuries

The Pitmen were cagey in their approach to the game, struggling to link up passes in the final third and allowing Stourbridge to clear their lines. Hurst had a good chance to equalise for the hosts on twenty-four minutes as he got the better of the Stour defence to chase onto a flick-on from Glover but dragged his low shot narrowly wide of the far post

Neat build-up play from Landell and Will Grocott carved the Pitmen open down their left on twenty-seven minutes, with Grocott's low cross into the six-yard box just behind the incoming Dwyer before being hacked out for a corner kick to the visitors

Abadaki forced Stourbridge keeper Charlie Price into his first save of the game on thirty-three minutes, getting on the end of a flick from Hurst to try his luck with a half-volley that Price fielded well on his six-yard line

The mercurial Abadaki was involved again as the half came to a close, tripping over his own feet inside the Stourbridge penalty area as Tonks challenged him, with the referee correctly turning away from the winger's protests for a penalty

The Pitmen had huffed and puffed their way through the half but had ultimately been second best for much of it. A rousing half-time team talk from Dean Glover saw the Pitmen emerge with far more purpose and got themselves level once again with the first attack of the half; a corner kick from Hodge dropped at the feet of Ben Bailey, who turned the ball home from close range through a crowd of players to register his fourth goal of the season and equalise for the hosts

The hosts would then have their best spell of the game for the next fifteen minutes or so. Hodge was having a fine game, giving Ashley Carter a nightmare of a time as he looked to beat his man time and time again

However, after failing to take advantage of their spell on top, Hurst wrecked any chance of the Pitmen getting something form a keenly competitive local derby with another reckless challenge on fifty-nine minutes. Once again, Tonks was the man involved, as Hurst took the midfielder down as the pair stretched to meet a loose ball. The referee had little choice but to send the former West Brom man off, leaving the hosts with a mountain to climb

The ten men Pitmen had a glorious chance to take the lead on sixty-four minutes, as Glover's clever reverse ball found Hodge darting in behind the Stourbridge defence. However, Hodge's final touch was a little too heavy, leaving him to stretch for the ball and send his effort narrowly over the crossbar as Price did his best to put the winger off his stride. A great chance spurned and one that was to cost the Pitmen dearly four minutes later in a game of fine margins

A corner kick from Grocott on sixty-eight minute was played to the far post to meet the head of Willets, who appeared to push Bailey over as the pair challenged for the high ball. The referee astonishingly failed to spot the push that allowed Willets to head the ball unchallenged past Rowley and score what was to prove the winner for the Glassboys from ten yards out

Price did well to get behind a crisply-struck shot from Abadaki three minutes later, holding the winger's first-time shot after Glover had headed the ball into his path on the edge of the penalty area

The Pitmen's first change of the afternoon came on seventy-four minutes as Stoke City loanee Soiyir Sanali made his home debut following his midweek switch from the Potters. Unbelievably for some in the ground, it was Hodge who made way for the teenager, despite being the Pitmen's most dangerous player going forward for much of the game

A long throw from Tonks on seventy-seven minutes was headed goalwards by Willets once more, but Rowley did well to clear the ball away from his near post with his legs before the clearance was completed by Matt Curley

Grocott and Dwyer inexplicably missed a great chance to settle the game as a contest on eighty-three minutes, as Grocott's miscued strike drifted past Dwyer and wide of goal before the former Hednesford man could get any purchase on the bouncing ball

With time running out for the Pitmen, Reid was introduced for Abadaki with five minutes remaining as the hosts looked for some late inspiration for another equaliser

It was Stourbridge, however, that finished the stronger, with both of their ex-Pitmen combining in the final minute of the game as Dwyer ran in behind the Pitmen's defence before laying the ball back to Landell, whose rising shot was turned over the crossbar by Rowley

Another bitterly disappointing afternoon in front of their own fans for the Pitmen, who will have felt that with eleven men on the pitch they could have arrested their recent slide at home with at least a point this afternoon. The games come thick and fast for the squad as they return to the relative safety of the road once more on Tuesday night to face relegation candidates St. Ives Town in the first-ever meeting between the two sides at Westwood Road

Hednesford Town: Rowley, Curley, O'HanlonBailey ©, Griffiths, Gatter, Hodge (Sanali 74), KingD. Glover , Hurst ▆ ▆ (59), Abadaki (Reid 85)      Subs Unused: Fry, Jones, Veiga

Stourbridge: Price, Ezewele , Carter, Hayward, Willets, Brown , Bellis (Birch 53), Tonks ©, Dwyer, Grocott (Tilt 83), Nicholls (Landell 16)      Subs Unused: Turton, Fisher

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