F.A. Cup 1st Qualifying Round

Lutterworth Town



Hednesford Town

K. Wells (67), (82), (89)

(0) 0

(0) 3



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Kieran Wells




Kings Langley (A) 14.9.19

The Pitmen are in the draw for the second qualifying round of this season's F.A. Cup courtesy of a clinical late show from Kieran Wells to edge his side past United Counties League side Lutterworth Town this afternoon


Gary Hayward's Hednesford side - still smarting from their first home defeat of the season last weekend against Needham Market - arrived in Leicestershire with a new face in their ranks after the capture of attacking midfielder Tom Fry from Welsh Premier League Barry Town United in the week, with the 22-year-old coming straight into the side as one of three changes made by Hayward to join James Hurst and Reece King in the Xi ahead of Matt Curley, Liam Truslove and Osebi Abadaki


Step five Lutterworth had made a good start to their United Counties League campaign, sitting fifth in the table and coming off the back of a resounding 7-1 win over Pitshanger Dynamo in the F.A. Vase last weekend. Manager Josh Dixon set his team up with a counter-attacking style from the off, utilising the pace of the tricky Jordan Small to test the Pitmen's backline from the off


It was another bright, sunny day for football, with a good crowd congregating inside the compact Dunley Way ground as the Pitmen were backed by a very healthy away following once again. The home side tried to take advantage of a miskick from keeper Daniel Platt in the eleventh minute following a ponderous opening to the game, with Zakari Adams' pass into the Hednesford six-yard box requiring Sam Griffiths to be alert and put the ball behind for a corner ahead of Small


The Pitmen responded with a break down the right-wing three minutes later as Hurst's deep ball was inches away from being nodded into the net by new boy Fry, who just missed the cross with his head from six yards out. Griffiths met the loose ball at the far post, but his bobbling effort lacked power and was hacked clear by Lutterworth


Good play from Kieran Wells out on the left-wing on nineteen minutes saw him create room to send over an inswinging cross that was met by strike partner Danny Glover, only for the Hednesford forward to head horribly wide of goal


A quick break from the Pitmen on twenty-four minutes saw a delightful ball from Fry drop over the top of the Lutterworth defence and into the path of Kieran Wells, who got in behind the hosts' defence. His shot at goal lacked precision, however, and allowed Lutterworth keeper Warren Butlin to get a touch on the ball before his defence completed the clearance behind him


Another teasing cross from Hurst on the half-hour mark was narrowly missed by the onrushing Glover before falling into the path of Kristian Scott, whose looping header cleared the crossbar from eight yards out


The Pitmen had been pedestrian in their approach to the game so far, playing the ball about a little too over-confidently at times at the back. They were almost undone with one such instance on thirty-eight minutes as they failed to clear their lines and gifted possession to Adams, who in turn eventually found Small on the corner of the six-yard box. The striker turned well and sent over a low cross that drifted across the face of the Hednesford penalty area and away from danger, with no-one in orange on hand to turn the loose ball into the empty net


A low cross from Tom Elliott almost created an opening for Wells five minutes before half-time, only for some last-ditch defending from Lutterworth to steal the ball away from the striker at the far post as he shaped to shoot


The Pitmen went closest to opening the scoring with the final opportunity of the first half, as Elliott's clever turn and pass played Scott in, only for the outside of the post to deny the former Leicester City man a first Hednesford goal as he drove a shot goalwards from ten yards out


The away side started the second half with more purpose, playing ten yards further forward than they had in the first half in an attempt to push their lower league opponents ack into their own third. An early free-kick from James Hurst was headed down by Kieran Morris and into the path of Wells, only for the home defence to smuggle the ball clear after a bout of head tennis inside the six-yard box


 Top scorer Glover was looking to add to his impressive early-season tally and went close to finding the net for a fifth time this season on fifty-two minutes as he tricked his way into the Lutterworth penalty area before forcing a fine save out of Butlin at his near post with a powerful snap-shot


Lutterworth - although limited in quality, still offered a threat on the counter-attack through the industrious Adams and the pacy Small, with Adams doing well to nick the ball off Morris on fifty-five minutes before dragging a low shot straight into the hands of Platt


Another fine cross from Hurst on the hour mark opened up the Lutterworth defence as he found the head of Wells, who was lurking in the six-yard box. However, the striker's glancing header was slightly off-target, dropping just wide of the far post with Butlin beaten


With the Pitmen still struggling for a breakthrough, Hayward made a double change down the right-wing on sixty-seven minutes with Curley and Abadaki coming on in place of the tiring Hurst and Glover. This was to prove a game-changing switch for the step three side, as both subs were involved immediately to help the Pitmen finally open the scoring; Abadaki fed Curley down the flank, with the right-back sending over a fine low cross that Wells brought under control before firing past Butlin. You could sense the relief in the mainly-Hednesford led crowd at the goal, with the Pitmen having found the going hard up to this point in the game


And yet, the Pitmen almost squandered their lead on seventy-two minutes, as a quick counter-attack from the hosts saw skipper Marshal Keenan get in behind the Hednesford defence before taking the ball around Platt, only to be denied an equaliser by a fine goal-line clearance by Griffiths


The Pitmen's final change of the game came with twelve minutes remaining as Brad Wells came on in place of Fry, who had shown a number of neat touches during a promising debut


The step three side eventually made their extra fitness and quality pay dividends with a killer second goal on eighty-two minutes with Kieran Wells starting and finishing a flowing move for the men in bright yellow; his sweeping pass out to the wing found Abadaki, who whipped in a fine cross from the right-wing that Wells glanced past Butlin and into the far corner of the net for his - and the Pitmen's - second goal of the afternoon


King won a free kick for the Pitmen in a dangerous position just outside the Lutterworth penalty area on eighty-five minutes which Elliott flicked inches wide of the far post as the Pitmen finished strongly before Wells completed his hat-trick in style in the final minute of the game. Scott laid the ball back into the path of Brad Wells, who stood up a fine ball to the far post where his brother was on hand to nod the ball beyond the reach of Butlin to complete his hat-trick and end the game on a high for the Pitmen


So, it's job done for the Pitmen in moving into the second qualifying round, although the final score was not perhaps a fair representation of the overall performance from the visitors, who had spent large spells of the game struggling to break down a stoic Lutterworth side in a disappointing overall display. However, they do move into the hat for Monday's draw and will be pleased to have returned to winning ways ahead of another tricky away game next weekend when they make their first-ever visit to Kings Langley in the Southern Premier League Central


Lutterworth Town: Butlin, Riley, Samuels, Warren (Clarke 84), Peace, Cooper, Tyers, Johnson ▆ (Roberts 63), Keenan ©, Small, Adams      Subs Unused: Leslie, Lewis, Allen, Parish, Smith


Hednesford Town: Platt, Hurst ▆ (Curley 67), Griffiths, Bailey ©, Morris , King, Elliott, Scott, Glover (Abadaki 67), Fry (B. Wells 78), K. Wells     Subs Unused: Truslove, Gatter, Reid, Veiga


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