Evo-Stik Northern Premier League


Stevens (61)

Hednesford Town

Campion (30), Wellecomme (35), Clements (62)

(0) 1

(2) 3



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Gary Hay


Chorley (H) 19.11.11

The Pitmen made it six league wins from seven games after edging out struggling Buxton this afternoon at Silverlands, with two goals in the first half setting Rob Smith's side on their way

Gary Hay returned to the side after he missed the midweek defeat in the F.A. Trophy defeat to Buxton's Derbyshire neighbours Matlock, with Chris Shaw also coming back into the side at the expense of Elliott Durrell

It was very nearly a dream start for the Pitmen, still smarting from the manner of their Trophy exit on Wednesday night. Dan Crane's long punt forward was flicked on by Hay, who headed the ball into the path of strike partner Nick Wellecomme. The big striker leant back as he shaped to shoot, however, and lifted his shot over the crossbar

Jamey Osborne, restored to the side in midweek after suspension and injury, was next to test Buxton's resistance on seven minutes. His tricky run saw him shimmy past two challenges but Osbourne scuffed his shot straight at Buxton keeper Scott Hartley when well placed

Three minutes later, Buxton had their first sight at goal as Kieran Lugsden climbed highest to head narrowly over the crossbar in a crowded penalty area

Osborne was looking bright and alert, and another positive run on seventeen minutes nearly produced a chance, but his cross was just too far in front of strikers Hay and Wellecomme

Hay had started well for the Pitmen, making his presence felt with a typically full-blooded display. Midway through the first half, Wellecomme did well to flick a Kyle Haynes ball on to Hay, who fired into the side netting with a powerful shot from an angle

The Pitmen's pressing was finally rewarded on the half-hour mark, as Hay was once again involved in a chance for the away side. Osborne's effort was diverted towards goal by Hay, forcing Hartley into a fine save to his right to force a corner kick. Chris Clements' kick was cleared to the edge of the area, where Darren Campion was lurking with intent. His finely-executed volley beat Hartley and found the corner of the net to give the Pitmen a well-deserved lead

The away side were dominant in possession and pushed for a second goal before half time. Clements' free-kick dropped kindly to Jay Denny, but the midfielder's header lacked power and was easily fielded by Hartley

As the floodlights kicked into action towards the end of the half, the Pitmen did indeed double their advantage through Wellecomme with ten minutes of the half remaining. A deep cross from Haynes found Campion at the far post, with the left-winger heading into the path of Wellecomme, who had the simple task of firing past Hartley from a couple of yards out. There were calls for offside from the Buxton defenders, but to no avail

Half time was a welcome distraction for the home side, who had offered little against a disciplined Hednesford defence that was being well organised by Pedro Monteiro and Shaw

Buxton emerged with a more attacking threat after the expected half time rollicking and enjoyed their best period in the game after the restart. Lungsden turned well past Cheyenne Dunkley on fifty minutes, but got his shot all wrong and fired horribly wide of goal

A run of corner kicks then followed for the hosts, with the Pitmen pegged inside their own penalty area for a number of anxious minutes. Again, Monteiro and Dunkley came into their own, dealing with everything that could be headed or hacked away from goal

On the one occasion when the two centre backs failed to deal with a Buxton chance, keeper Crane was called into action on fifty-eight minutes to make a top-class save to turn Mark Reed's header over the crossbar and deny what seemed a certain goal

Buxton could sense a goal, and two minutes later they found it; a cross in from wide was powerfully headed home by Neil Stevens, heading back across goal to beat Crane and put Buxton back in the game

That belief from the hosts was wiped out almost immediately, as Hednesford struck a third goal barely a minute later. Hay's nuisance value worked again, as he robbed a Buxton defender, before squaring the ball towards Wellecomme. The ball eventually ended up at the feet of Clements, who managed to prod the ball past Hartley to give the Pitmen their two-goal cushion again

With this in mind, Osborne was replaced by Ben Jevons as the Pitmen looked to close the game out and give the midfield fresher legs to deal with Buxton's fight to get back into the game

They almost did so twenty minutes from time, as Michael Towey struck the outside of the post from eighteen yards, with Crane beaten all ends up

Lungsden should have set up a grandstand finish for the final ten minutes after getting on the end of Reed's header on seventy-eight minutes but fired narrowly over the bar from a good position just inside the area

Wellecomme's game was ended a minute later, as he was replaced by Durrell, whilst Ben Bailey came on in place of Shaw to give the central defence more solidity

With six minutes to go, Lungsden fired agonisingly wide of the far post with a low shot that scraped the paintwork off the base of the woodwork as it missed the target

With time slipping away, Stevens blotted his copybook in the final minute, as he was shown a red card after making one comment too many to the match officials

With three points in the bag, the Pitmen can now look forward to a mouthwatering home game against third-placed Chorley next week with a great chance to close further in on the league leaders Northwich Victoria

Buxton: Hartley, Black, Wilde, Williams, Horne (Agus 45), Maxfield ©, Stevens (89), Towey, Reed, Lugsden, Ridley (Pembleton 67)       Subs Unused: Johnson, Taylor, Liversidge

Hednesford Town: Crane, Haynes, Shaw (Bailey 79), Monteiro, Dunkley, Denny, Osborne (Jevons 64), Clements, Wellecomme (Durrell 79), Hay, Campion ©       Subs Unused: Danks, Gomes

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