9.11.2019

F.A. Trophy 2nd Qualifying Round

Sutton Coldfield Town

Gibson (68)

Hednesford Town

Elliott (5), (85), Glover (13), Bailey (31), Abadaki (36)

(0) 1

(4) 5

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

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296

Danny Glover

W D W W L L W W D W

 

Leiston (A) 12.11.19

Hednesford safely navigate their way through to the third qualifying round of this season's F.A. Trophy following a comprehensive first-half display to see off the challenge of Neil Tooth's Sutton Coldfield Town side and a wet and wild Coles Lane this afternoon

Last weekend's tame lapse to allow Barwell a late point had left a sour taste in the mouth, this dropping Gary Hayward's side down to second in the league table in the process. Their break from league action saw Hayward make two enforced changes to his side as he was without the services of the injured duo Sam Griffiths and James Hurst, bringing in Izak Reid and Elliott Hodge to replace the pair. Andre Brown was also dropped to the bench after a mixed display at Kirkby Road and was replaced by Osebi Abadaki, who had scored at Barwell in a late cameo appearance. Hayward had clinched the loan signing of West Bromwich Albion youngster Jack Chambers ahead of the game, with the 19-year-old named amongst the Pitmen's substitutes

Former Hednesford manager Tooth had overseen an odd campaign so far for the Royals, who, despite being bottom of the Northern Premier League Division One South East, had enjoyed a fine run int he F.A. Cup that had seen them beat Vanarama National League North Kettering Town after a replay. The previous round of the F.A. Trophy had also seen Sutton beat Hednesford's local rivals Stafford Rangers to earn themselves a shot against another local step three side on their 3G pitch in the form of the Pitmen. Tooth names former Hednesford players Desean Martin and Reece Leek in his starting XI for today's game, with ex-Hednesford defender Jimmy Mutton missing out due to injury

It was a horrible afternoon for playing and watching football, as a cold front hit the West Midlands on Saturday morning to spread wet, windy and bitterly cold weather across the region ahead of kick-off. The away side made light work of the conditions and went on the front foot from the off, with Kieran Morris heading wide from a Tom Elliott corner kick in the third minute as he stretched to flick the inswinging ball just wide of the far post

The Pitmen's early endeavours were rewarded with an early opener in the fifth minute, as Elliott continued his fine recent run of form with another goal to add to his tally; Abadaki's trickery down the left wing saw him turn inside Ben George and send over a low cross to the near post, where Elliott was on hand to steer the ball past Sutton keeper Lewis Gwilliams from close range

With the stalemate broken early on, the Pitmen relaxed into a rhythm and created a number of good openings as the half progressed. In the eighth minute, Danny Glover laid the ball off into the path of right-winger Hodge, whose cross was followed into the box by Hednesford's top scorer who flicked a header just wide

The visitors were on total control of proceedings in terms of possession and territory, but a poor touch from Ben Bailey almost gifted Sutton a way back into the game a minute later; Bailey's loose pass was deflected into the path of Leek, who took the ball forwards but showed no signs of being a marksman as he dragged his rushed effort well wide of Andy Wycherley's far post

Sutton's brave policy of playing out from the back was causing them issues from the off, as the Pitmen hunted down any loose touches and won possession back deep inside Sutton territory a number of times. Jack Hallahan did well to win a free-kick after robbing possession off Martin in midfield on thirteen minutes, with Elliott's resultant free-kick dropping to Bailey inside the Sutton penalty area; the Hednesford skipper did well to keep the move alive by playing the ball back to Reid, whose right-wing cross eventually fell at the feet of Glover via Reece King header off the foot of the post, which the Pitmen's number nine rifled home from close range for his ninth goal of the season

Glover was in the mood for more goals, firing wide from the edge of the Royals penalty area on sixteen minutes after being teed up by the busy Hodge as Sutton struggled to get a foothold in the game

It was that man Glover again who went close for the away side on twenty minutes, as a deep Elliott corner was headed into the path of the striker by Bailey, prompting a timely block from a Sutton Coldfield defender in a sea of legs

A goal kick from Gwilliams three minutes later was flicked on by Isai Marselia and into the path of Leek, who tried his luck with a dipping half-volley from fully twenty-five yards out that looped over Wycherley's head and over the crossbar

A series of corner kicks from the Pitmen continued to test Sutton's resolve at the back, with the third one on thirty-one minutes leading to the Pitmen's third strike of the afternoon. Elliott's inswinging corner eventually made it's way back out to Hodge, whose cross was only cleared as far as Bailey, standing about twenty-five yards from goal. The centre-back showed fantastic composure to take the ball down and shimmy past two Sutton challenges before rifling a low shot beyond the reach of Gwilliams and into the corner of the net for his first goal of the season

Wycherley made an instinctive one-handed save on thirty-five minutes to keep out a low free-kick from Joel Powney, palming it away as it skipped off the slick surface and towards the corner of the net

More fantastic wing play from Abadaki saw the Pitmen add to their commanding lead on thirty-six minutes, as he once again got the better of George out on the left-wing, cutting inside before whipping in a low cross that Glover did well to dummy a touch and allow the ball to sail into the far corner of the net for Abadaki's third goal of the season

As half-time approached, Leek did well to win the ball off Matt Curley in the corner and deflect the ball across the face of the Hednesford goal, where Martin was a matter of a couple of feet away from a tap-in at the far post as the ball flashed across the Hednesford six-yard box and wide

The tempo of the game in the second half was less bustling, as both sides appeared to have accepted the result from the Pitmen's blistering first-half display in front of goal. Abadaki found himself on the end of a flowing move from the Pitmen on fifty-two minutes as he was played in on goal by Glover, only for Gwilliams to make a superb one-handed stop to turn the winger's effort over the bar for a corner

Neat interplay from the Pitmen on fifty-seven minutes saw Hallahan break from deep before he played Elliott through on goal - his clever reverse pass found Glover unmarked inside the Sutton box, only for Gwilliams to make another fine stop down to his right to parry Glover's shot away from goal

Abadaki and Hodge had switched wings at half-time, with Abadaki working a pocket of space for himself on sixty-one minutes after drifting inside from the right before unleashing a rising shot that flew over the crossbar from long-range

A superb deep cross from Sutton substitute Reece Gibson almost reached fellow sub Jordan Francis three minutes later, dropping just out of reach for the former Corby Town striker as it flew wide of goal and Wycherley unable to get a touch on the ball

A heinous error from Bailey blotted his, and the Pitmen's, copybook on sixty-eight minutes, as the Hednesford captain played a blind backpass to no-one in particular to allow Gibson in on goal, with the number fourteen to round Wycherley and tap the ball home

The Pitmen made their first change of the afternoon following the Sutton goal, as Abadaki was taken off ahead of Tuesday night's long trip to Leiston and replaced by Tom Fry on the left-wing

A quick break down the left from the Pitmen saw Hallahan, Curley and Elliott all combining before Elliott lifted his half-volley high over the crossbar from a promising position on seventy-four minutes

Hallahan - looking like a completely different player since returning from injury recently - looked to add to his hat-trick last weekend with a driving run deep into the Sutton half before hitting a low shot that was narrowly off target from twenty yards out

Gwilliams conjured up another fine save to deny the Pitmen what would have been a cricket score with ten minutes remaining, making a flying save to deny Kieran Morris a certain goal after the centre-back had headed Elliott's cross goalwards

The Pitmen wrapped up the tie and the goals with a fifth goal on eighty-five minutes, as Hodge's cross was headed goalwards by Elliott, looping the ball over the head of Gwilliams before it settled in the far corner of the net for Elliott's second goal of a wet, but rewarding, afternoon

With the game ticking into the final moments, the Pitmen made two more changes to their side as Hallahan and Glover were both replaced in quick succession by new boy Chambers and Brown respectively

A fine win for the Pitmen, who can be pleased with their reaction to last week's performance at Barwell with a dominant first-half display to essentially seal their path into the next round before half-time. Tuesday night sees Hayward's players return to league action as they make the long trip down the A14 to face basement side Leiston, who have seen manager Ian Cornforth leave the club in the past twenty-four hours to add to the Blues' woes ahead of their next game

Sutton Coldfield Town: Gwilliams, George, Christophorou, Halsall ©, Ganley, Beresford , Dwyer (Gibson 33), Martin▆ (Francis 63), Marselia (Akenkorah 63), Leek, Powney       Subs Unused: Okorou, Harrison, Stanton

Hednesford Town: Wycherley, Reid, Curley, Bailey ©, Morris, Hallahan (Chambers 86), Hodge, King , Glover (Brown 87), Elliott, Abadaki (Fry 68)      Subs Unused: Gatter, Veiga, Scott

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