Zamaretto Southern Premier League

Hednesford Town

Patterson (15)

Swindon Supermarine

Stanley (33) (penalty)

(1) 1

(1) 1



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Chris Clements


Salisbury City (H) 18.9.10

In front of a new league attendance low at Keys Park, Hednesford huffed and puffed their way to a point against Swindon Supermarine, as their home hoodoo continues to frustrate all in white

After Saturday's F.A. Cup defeat to Newcastle Town, the few that turned up this evening were in desperate need of a pick-me-up. The hardy supporters were greeted with a number of personnel changes, after a number of rumours in recent days of a rift in the squad. Elliott Durrell was dropped completely from the squad, with striker Mark Bellingham dropped to the bench, Cheyenne Dunkley was also nowhere to be seen, with Sean Platt returning to the starting line-up and reclaiming his captaincy from Bellingham. Aaron Gibson was also available again, with the left-sided flyer replacing Durrell

Swindon's trip up from Wiltshire came off the back of an F.A. Cup win over Brading Town at the weekend, which in itself was a continuation of Marine's good start to the league season. Manager Mark Collier made just the one change to the starting XI from the weekend's cup tie as the experienced Gary Horgan came back in ahead of Dave Bampton in defence

A bright start from the hosts saw Kyle Patterson presented with an excellent opportunity on four minutes, sliding in to get on the end of a cross from Jamey Osborne, but leant back as he met the ball and spooned his shot over the crossbar from close range

Alfie Carter was next to test Swindon's resolve, making a run down the left-hand side as he looked to force his way into the area. After beating off two challenges, it took a last-ditch tackle from Leigh Henry to deny the burly forward a shot at goal

Patterson's persistence paid off on fifteen minutes, as he swept the Pitmen into the lead with his third goal for the club. After picking up a Chris Clements pass just outside the area, the striker turned and fired in a shot at goal that took a slight deflection off Horgan and found its way past Marine keeper Mark Scott

Hednesford were boosted by this and forced Swindon onto the back foot in the next ten minutes; the excellent Clements tried his luck on twenty-two minutes with a long-range effort that Scott saw over the crossbar

Three minutes later, Ben Bailey almost doubled Hednesford's advantage with a header from a Clements free-kick at the far post that drifted just over the crossbar

Patterson missed an absolute sitter on the half-hour mark, clipping the ball wide from two yards out after being set up by Osborne, who had stepped around three challenges to lay the ball into the path of the striker

 However, just as they had done on Saturday, the hosts sat back and gifted the visitors a way back into the game on thirty-three minutes. A neat move saw Swindon play the ball into the area, where Henry was pushed over by Bailey - his second penalty gift in two games. Nick Stanley easily beat Crane from the resultant kick to level matters

McNally's half time team talk appeared to have a positive effect, as a superb passing move involving five players opened up Swindon's defence three minutes into the second half. Scott made a real hash of Osborne's left-wing cross, losing the ball in flight and relying on a defensive header at the far post to deny the ball dropping to Patterson, who was lurking

In the absence of Durrell, the Pitmen's attacking instincts were all being controlled by Clements, who grew in influence as the game wore on. A driving run from the midfielder on fifty minutes saw him slip the ball into Carter, who was tripped on the edge of the area. Clements took the resultant kick, but his swerving effort was deflected away for a corner by the Swindon wall

 Back came Swindon, who were trying their best to catch Hednesford on the counter-attack. A quick break saw Stanley fire in a shot that Bailey deflected away for a corner kick. From the corner, Chris Taylor jabbed a shot narrowly wide of goal as the ball bounced around the penalty area

Supermarine wasted a great chance to score on sixty-eight minutes, with forward Kyle Tooze blasting over the bar from close range after the Hednesford defence failed to pick him up

The game was crying out for a bit of inspiration on either side, with Jay Denny summing up the overall lack of quality on the pitch with a scuffed shot on seventy-two minutes that eventually went out for a throw-in, to the ironic cheers of the crowd

Carter's final contribution to the game was a powerful run down the left flank on seventy-eight minutes, beating off two challenges before firing horribly wide with an off-balance shot. On eighty-five minutes, he was replaced by Dorryl Proffitt

The final few minutes saw a sudden burst of action, as both sides awoke from their slumber in an attempt to win it late on. Firstly, on eighty-seven minutes, Henry went close to scoring from a Swindon corner kick, heading towards goal but being denied by a last-ditch Bailey header off the line

A minute later, Hednesford had a shot of their own cleared off the line, as Gibson found room to get a low shot away, only to be denied by a goal-line block by Chris Allen

A useful point for Swindon but a frustrating night for the Pitmen, with McNally now starting to come under a bit of pressure from a diminishing pool of supporters to solve the Keys Park issue quickly, or a play-off position may slip away pretty quickly. In-form Salisbury City make the trip to Keys Park for the first time in a decade at the weekend looking to continue their steady climb up the league table at the expense of the inconsistent Pitmen

Hednesford Town: Crane, Bailey, Keenan, Francis (Platt 45), Dunkley, Denny, Durrell, Clements, Bellingham © (Proffitt 66), Patterson, Osborne (Carter 58)      Subs Unused: Overfield, Brock

Swindon Supermarine: Scott, Lapham, D. Allen, C. Allen, Henry, Horgan, Morris, Gosling, Tooze, Taylor, Stanley (Holgate 75)      Subs Unused: Wells, Hopper