22.10.2019

BetVictor Southern Premier League Central

Hednesford Town

Brown (3), (58), King (10), Elliott (57) 

Redditch United

(2) 4

(0) 0

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Andre Brown

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Stratford Town (A) 26.10.19

The Pitmen put their last two games behind them this evening with a thumping victory over struggling Redditch United at the PRG Stadium @ Keys Park, scoring four goals without reply and creating a whole host of other chances in a game that saw them return to the Southern Premier League Central summit in the process

 

Saturday's F.A. Cup defeat to Boston United - coupled with last Tuesday night's tame reverse at Bromsgrove Sporting - had checked the Pitmen's recent spell of good form, with manager Gary Hayward moving into the loan market to bring in AFC Telford keeper Andy Wycherley to offer competition to Daniel Platt between the posts. Wycherley was one of two changes to the side that had started against Boston on Saturday, joined by Andre Brown in the starting line-up after Sam Griffiths had been ruled out due to injury. Carter Lycett stepped up onto the substitute's bench in place of Kieran Wells, whose partner had given birth earlier in the day. It had been cause for a double celebration for the Hednesford playing staff, as Izak Reid was also celebrating the birth of a daughter earlier in the day and started his second game in succession

 

Redditch arrived at Hednesford off the back of a rotten run of form that had seen Ian King's side slump to second-bottom on the league table with only one win in their last ten games. A 1-0 defeat at home to improving Barwell on Saturday had left the Valley Stadium club just four points above bottom side Leiston going into tonight's round of games. King named former Hednesford pair Callum Coyle and Liam Truslove in his starting line-up and former Hednesford striker Romario Martin amongst his substitutes as United went in search of a vital three points to stop the rot that had set in over the past few weeks

 

The Pitmen were on the front foot from the off and won an early corner kick down the right-wing, from which Tom Elliott's cross was headed goalwards by Kieran Morris and cleared by a panicky-looking Redditch defence

 

The home side's early pressure on a young-looking Redditch backline paid immediate dividends, as their direct approach to the game handed them a third-minute lead; Ben Bailey's long throw from the left was flicked on at the near post by Reece King, whose looping header allowed Brown to head confidently past Kieran Boucher in the Redditch goal from close range to score his second goal for the club since joining on loan from Telford a fortnight ago

 

Brown went close to doubling his tally for the evening three minutes later, as Danny Glover and James Hurst combined to play the striker in, only for him to strike the foot of the post with a low shot on the run

 

Boucher made the first of a number of fine stops in the game in the ninth minute, turning Glover's goalbound header away from goal after Elliott's free-kick had been stabbed back into the danger zone by Bailey on the edge of the Redditch penalty area

 

The Pitmen finally doubled their advantage in the tenth minute of the game Glover laid the ball back into the path of Osebi Abadaki, whose inswinging cross was powerfully headed home by King for his third goal since returning to the club in September

 

It continued to be one-way traffic throughout the opening quarter of the game, with Reid next to test the reflexes of Boucher on eighteen minutes after he had been played in on the right-hand side of the Redditch penalty area by Glover, only for his low drive to be palmed away by the Redditch stopper at his near post

 

Coyle felt that he was impeded by Bailey on twenty minutes as he fell in the Hednesford penalty area under pressure fro the Hednesford skipper, but his half-hearted appeals were waved away and the game continued

 

A fantastic through ball from Elliott two minutes later set Reid away once more down the right, only for his driven shot across goal to trickle wide of the far post via a deflection as he tried his luck once more from an angle

 

From the resultant Elliott corner kick, Morris rose highest at the near post to meet the ball but headed horribly over the crossbar when he probably should have done better from his close-range position

 

Hurst was the latest player to test the over-worked Boucher for the Pitmen on twenty-seven minutes, unleashing a rising shot from the edge of the Redditch penalty area that the away side's number one did well to pluck out of the air

 

A teasing cross from Hurst two minutes later found the head of King once more, only for the midfielder's header to drift narrowly wide of the near post from ten yards out

 

Wycherley was called into action for the first time on thirty-two minutes to field a free-kick at the second attempt from Josh Martin after Truslove had been fouled just outside the Hednesford penalty area

 

Poor communication in the Redditch ranks almost gifted the Pitmen a third goal on thirty-four minutes, as Brown nipped in to steal the ball away form three dithering Redditch players. The ball fell to the feet of Glover, whose deft lob looked goalbound until right-back Ryan Moore headed the ball off his own goal line as he tracked back

 

Glover tried his luck with a swerving shot from twenty-five yards out that sailed wide before Elliott was adjudged to have been narrowly offside just before he slotted home following another neat piece of build-up play in and around the Redditch penalty area

The Pitmen were forced into a change shortly before half-time, as Abadaki limped off with what appeared to be a recurrence of a hamstring issue that had kept him out against Royston Town a couple of weeks ago - he was replaced by Tom Fry down the left-wing

 

Half-time saw Redditch make an attacking change in a bid to get back into the game, with Romario Martin brought on up front in place of the more defensively-minded Ollie Mulders

 

It was the home side that continued to dominate proceedings, however, with an early clutch of set-pieces testing Redditch's resolve at the back including a corner kick that was cleared off his own line by substitute Martin to deny Morris

 

A superb inswinging corner kick from Fry on fifty-two minutes found the head of Morris at the near post, only for the centre-back - leaning back slightly - to head into the Heath Hayes terrace behind the goal

 

Fry - who had been heavily involved since his introduction - played a delightful slide-rule pass through to Glover two minutes later, only for Boucher to come to his side's rescue once more with a fine smothering save down to his right hand side to deny Glover a ninth goal of the season

 

Redditch's resolve was broken again on fifty-seven minutes, as a neat passing move through the centre involving King, Glover and Fry played Elliott clean through on goal, with the talented playmaker confidently firing past Boucher from eighteen yards out for his fourth goal of the season

 

Almost immediately from the restart, the Pitmen sealed a comprehensive three points with a superb strike from Brown; Elliott won the ball in midfield and fed the ball to Brown, who was in acres of space ut on the left. After taking a couple of touches, the striker unleashed an unstoppable drive that flew past a bemused Boucher and into the top corner of the net for his second goal of the night and the Pitmen's fourth

 

And still, the Pitmen continued to push, looking to improve their goal difference against the teams around them in the table. A fine strike from Reid on the hour mark was cleared off the line by Moore again before Martin turned Morris's header away from goal to deny the defender a fifth goal for Hednesford

 

A run and cross from Reid on sixty-three minutes saw the winger found Elliott lurking in the Redditch penalty area, with Elliott executing a fine turn and volley that just cleared the Redditch crossbar

 

With the game essentially won at this point, Hayward made his final two changes of the evening on sixty-four minutes as Kristian Scott and Charlie Gatter were both handed vital game time as they replaced Glover and Morris respectively

 

Coyle and Truslove combined for a rare Redditch attack on seventy minutes, only for Wycherley to turn Truslove's deep cross behind for a Redditch corner kick

 

The pair linked up again from a corner kick three minutes later, with Coyle this time seeing his long-range effort well fielded by debutant stopper Wycherley

 

Bailey - still incredibly looking for his first goal since returning to the club - made one of his trademark runs from deep with thirteen minutes remaining, only for his low drive to be saved well by Boucher from the edge of the Redditch box

 

Jordan Clarke - a player briefly associated with the Pitmen last season under Francino Francis - was brought on as Redditch's final change of the game with eleven minutes left, but lasted all of four minutes before limping off himself to leave Redditch with the task of seeing out the final seven minutes with ten men

 

A thumping win for the Pitmen that could have seen them score many more had it not been for some poor finishing and the keeping of Boucher, but enough to lift them back to the top of the league table on goal difference from league rivals Tamworth, who were 3-1 winners over nine-man Stratford. Incidentally, Stratford are the Pitmen's next opponents at the weekend, as the Pitmen make their first-ever trip to Stratford's new home at Knights Lane to face their league rivals in the first qualifying round of the F.A. Trophy

 

Hednesford Town: Wycherley, Hurst, Curley, Bailey ©, Morris (Gatter 64), King, Reid, Abadaki (Fry 39), Glover (Scott 64), Elliott, Brown   Subs Unused: Hallahan, Lycett

 

Redditch United: Boucher, Moore , Bushaj, Mulders (R. Martin 45), J. Martin ©, Endall, Coyle, Douglas (Hilton 59), Monaghan (Clarke 79 (83)), Truslove, McLean ▆.     Sub Unused: Beardmore

 

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