BetVictor Southern Premier League Central

Biggleswade Town

Charles (67)

Hednesford Town

(0) 1

(0) 0



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Sam Griffiths



Hitchin Town (H) 7.12.19

The Pitmen's away form in the league continues to come undone as they suffer their third defeat in their last five games on the road to leave them trailing league leaders Tamworth by eight points this evening

Gary Hayward's side had progressed into the first round proper of this season's F.A. Trophy last weekend courtesy of a fine 2-1 victory over league rivals Coalville Town at the PRG Stadium @ Keys Park. Hayward stuck with the same side that had started against the Ravens as he looked to find some consistency from his misfiring side away from home in recent weeks

Biggleswade's season had taken an alarming turn for the worst last week, as Isthmian League side Hendon and had come to an agreement with the Waders to take six players in one swoop as Liam Brookes, Tom Smith, Kieron Forbes, Lucas Perry, Luca Allinson and Solaman Samba all made the move to Hendon ahead of this afternoon's game. Biggleswade manager Chris Nunn had moved quickly to bring in Corey Panter, Jake Kierins, Kyle Forster, Trey Charles, James Peters and Kweku Lucan to replace the departed players

It was a cold afternoon in Bedfordshire, with the small crowd gathering for a league game of two inconsistent sides in the Southern Premier League Central. The Pitmen struck the first shot in anger through James Hurst on the eighth minute, as he lashed the ball wide of the upright from Ben O'Hanlon's cross 

The away side failed to clear their lines effectively three minutes later and allowed Charlie Pattison to arrive late in the Hednesford penalty area, only for his bobbled shot to end up in the hands of Andy Wycherley

Danny Glover tested the reflexes of new keeper Forster on twenty-one minutes, breaking through the Biggleswade defence before driving in a low shot at goal that Forster did well to save down to his right-hand side

The hosts almost caught the Pitmen on the counter-attack three minutes later, as Tom Elliott's free-kick was cleared to Charles, who made a forty yard run into the Hednesford half before laying the ball off to Lucan. His mis-controlled effort fell kindly to Pattison, whose shot from the edge of the penalty area drifted inches wide of Wycherley's right-hand post

Lucan felt that he should have been awarded a penalty kick on twenty-eight minutes as he went down in the Hednesford penalty area under pressure from Kieran Morris, but his hopeful protests were waved away by the referee

The visitors were dealt another injury blow to Hurst on thirty-two minutes, as the former West Brom man was once again forced off with another recurrence of his long-standing hamstring injury. Matt Curley came on in his place which saw a reshuffle of the back line for the Pitmen as they went with three centre-backs for the first time this season as Griffiths moved from right-back to centre-back

Neat build-up play from the Pitmen on thirty-five minutes saw O'Hanlon, Glover and Griffiths all involved in some neat one-touch play around the Biggleswade penalty area, culminating in Elliott having a low shot saved by Forster from close range

It had been a drab first half from both sides, with neither team really looking like they had the ability or want to show any conviction up front. Biggleswade's new players were still finding their feet it seemed, whilst constant speculation of the Pitmen's future off the pitch was dominating conversations before, during and after the game due to more arguments, disagreements and budget cuts from want-away and absent chairman Steve Price

Biggleswade started the second half the brighter of the two sides, with a deep cross from right-back Devante Stanley nearly leading to an opener on fifty minutes; Wycherley once again showed his nervousness at claiming a loose ball by dropping a simple cross into the path of Dylan Williams, who was denied by Wycherley's left leg as he deflected the shot away for a corner kick

The Pitmen made their final two changes relatively early in the half, as Izak Reid came on in place of the tiring O'Hanlon and Elliott Hodge replaced the out-of-sorts Andre Brown on fifty-eight minutes

A long throw from Bailey on sixty-two minutes found the head of Reece King for the first time in the afternoon, with his flick-on at the near post headed narrowly wide of the near post by Reid, who had arrived late into the six-yard box

The sprightly Stanley dd well to get the better of Curley five minutes later, beating the fill-in left-back down the flank and sending over a low cross that Morris did well to deny Lucan a clear shot on goal. Wycherley then went walkabout in his quest to retrieve the loose ball rather than let his covering defenders clear their lines, allowing debutant Charles to sidefoot the loose ball into the empty net from the edge of the penalty area for what would turn out to be the winning goal. A poor, poor goal to concede and yet again question marks over the confidence in both the Hednesford back-line and their loanee keeper

A poor afternoon's spectating got even worse for the miserable, frozen Hednesford supporters who had made the journey down to Biggleswade, as they were reduced to ten men with fifteen minutes remaining; Jack Hallahan lost the ball cheaply in midfield after wanting too much time on the ball and promptly kicked out at substitute Jamie Carey-Morrell as he tried to wrestle the ball back off the midfielder. A melee followed, with the referee correctly showing the young midfielder a red card for his kick out after it had all calmed down once more

The Pitmen seemed to have the stuffing knocked out of them with the Hallahan red card, and struggled to create any real chances of not in the final few minutes of the game. A cross from Hodge on eighty-one minutes was lifted high over the crossbar by King, before a good cross from Griffiths on eighty-four minutes was eventually volleyed high and wide by Bailey from the edge of the Biggleswade penalty area

Wycherley partly atoned for his earlier error with four minutes left, making a good save to deny Lucan after the striker had out-sprinted Reid on the counter attack before forcing Wycherley into a smothering save at his near post

In added time, Wycherley made a fine one-handed stop to turn a goal-bound shot from Charles away from goal after Morris's header fell at the feet of William, who slipped the Biggleswade goalscorer in once more. The on-loan keeper was up and on his feet quickly to deny Reece Crowther on the rebound with the Hednesford defence at sixes and sevens

A poor spectacle for the Southern Premier League, with the hosts deserving their three points against a Hednesford side devoid of confidence and with than a whiff of resignation about them with all of the goings-on behind the scenes. There is likely to be a another week of change within the club if the rumours are to be believed, with comings and goings likely to be high on the agenda before the Pitmen return to the PRG Stadium @ Keys Park next weekend to face Hitchin Town

Biggleswade Town: Forster, Stanley, Panter, Peters, Ferrell, Richardson, Williams, Pattison (Carey-Morrell 73), Lucan (Crowther 88), Ball ©, Charles      Subs Unused: Kierins, Rhiney-Wilson, Reid


Hednesford Town: Wycherley, Hurst (Curley 32), O'Hanlon (Reid 58), Bailey ©, Morris, Griffiths, Hallahan (75), King , Glover Elliott, Brown (Hodge 58)   Subs Unused: Gatter, Chambers

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