BetVictor Southern Premier League Central

Hednesford Town

King (45)

Kings Langley

Ward (25), (40), Parkes (37)

(1) 1

(3) 3



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Shaun Rowley



Royston Town (A) 22.2.20

The Pitmen's depressing sequence of defeats lengthens to four games this afternoon as they are easily beaten by in-form Kings Langley at the PRG Stadium @ Keys Park, making it five successive defeats at home in the league for the beleaguered hosts

Tuesday night's horror show against Nuneaton Borough had prompted the interim management team into making changes to the squad, with Matt Curley departing the club to join Buxton after his howler of a performance at Needham Market last weekend. Callam Mendez-Jones had made the move in the opposite direction to return to the club from the Bucks in Curley's place, although injury ruled the former West Bromwich Albion man out of today's game. Another member of last season's squad also made a welcome return to the club on the morning of the game, with striker Dan Sweeney re-joining the club from National League side Solihull Moors on a loan deal until the end of the season. Sweeney came straight into the side in place of Danny Glover in one of three changes to the side that started against Nuneaton, joining Jack Hallahan and Tom Fry in the starting XI as Tom Solanke (injured) and Elliot Hodge made way for the pair

Kings Langley arrived at Keys Park for their first-ever visit to Hednesford off the back of a fine run of recent form, having remained unbeaten since the start of 2020 in the Southern Premier League Central. Manager Chris Cummins made one change to the side that had defeated Biggleswade Town 2-1 in midweek, bringing Stevie Ward back into the side in place of Will Hoskins as the visitors went in search of a sixth win in their last nine games

Despite it being a crisp, bright afternoon in Staffordshire and with very few local sides in action, it was another shockingly low attendance for this afternoon's game as more and more supporters chose to vote with their feet in protest against the continuing mismanagement of the club from chairman Steve Price

It was a bright start from the hosts, looking to finally end their miserable run of form at home with a morale-boosting win. In the sixth minute, a strong run from Osebi Abadaki saw the winger cut inside from the left and try his luck with a shot that was deflected behind for a corner kick by Alex Anderson

Four minutes later, Fry's inswinging free-kick from wide on the right almost found the head of Reece King at the far post but drifted narrowly over the midfielder's head as he stretched to reach the cross

The Pitmen continued to have the better of possession and territory but continued to be wasteful and unconvincing in the final third as Fry wasted two corner kicks by striking them weakly into the first man, whilst a long-range effort from Sweeney on twenty-one minutes was easily saved by Melvin Minter in the Kings Langley goal

Kings Langley had offered little in the opening quarter of the game but started to play their way into proceedings with a fine effort from Mitchell Weiss on twenty-one minutes; a run from Stevie Ward saw the midfielder drift past both King and Sam Griffiths before playing in Weiss, whose subsequent shot was turned onto the base of the near post by an excellent save from Shaun Rowley

The visitors' new-found confidence saw them take the lead on twenty-seven minutes, with more than an element of luck about the goal that handed them the lead. Jorell Johnson was allowed to bring the ball out of his own half for Kings Langley before playing the ball through to an unmarked Harrison Crawford. His cross was headed into the path of Ward, whose scuffed shot at goal took a huge deflection off the boot of Griffiths before looping over the head of Rowley and into the far corner of the net

The Pitmen's fragile confidence was tested again three minutes later as a free-kick from Weiss was not cleared by the Hednesford defence effectively, allowing midfield man Dean Hitchcock to shoot from distance and fire narrowly over Rowley's crossbar

Charlie Gatter was at fault in the lead-up to a second Kings Langley goal on thirty-seven minutes, giving the ball away cheaply just outside his penalty area to the lively Crawford, who in turn fed Jordan Parkes just outside the Hednesford penalty area. The midfielder let rip with an unstoppable strike that beat Rowley all ends up from fully twenty-five yards out. A fine strike, but an avoidable one due to Gatter's poor decision-making

Things went from bad to worse for the hosts three minutes later, as Kings Langley put themselves three goals clear. More utterly dreadful defending from the Pitmen saw no less than four players fail to clear their lines in and around the penalty area as the ball bounced around, allowing Ward time and space to fire home from ten yards out to put the away side into an unassailable lead

With the crowd now on their backs, the Pitmen did provide a response just before the half-time break as Fry's low shot was well saved by Minter, only for King to stoop in and head the rebound into the net after following Fry's long-range effort in at goal

The Pitmen were sent out with a flea in their ear in the second half and looked capable of getting back into the game in the opening exchanges as Hewlett did well to feed Fry down the right flank on fifty minutes, only for a terribly weak cross to find the gloves on Minter rather than pick out one of Sweeney or King in the penalty area

The Pitmen's first change of the afternoon came on fifty-six minutes, as the terribly disappointing Fry was removed from the pitch and replaced by the more dynamic Hodge to ironic cheers from the crowd

Sweeney did well to take the fight to Kings Langley on sixty-three minutes as he made a fine run into the penalty area by taking Callum Adebiyi out of position before crossing low into the six-yard box. However, no-one in white was willing or able to gamble with a late run and allowed Kings Langley to clear the danger

A long throw from Ben Bailey on sixty-five minutes found the head of King inside the Kings Langley penalty area, only for the midfield man to glance his effort wide of the far post

On sixty-seven minutes, another one of the awfully inconsistent performers for the hosts left the pitch, as Hallahan was replaced by Ben O'Hanlon at the base of the midfield

Minter did well to deny King another free header on seventy-one minutes, plucking an O'Hanlon cross out of the area in a timely manner to deny King an effort at goal from six yards out

Weiss went close to adding to the home side's misery on three minutes later as his swerving free-kick from thirty yards out was seen over the crossbar by Rowley as it headed for the top corner of the Hednesford net

With fifteen minutes remaining, the hard-working Hewlett was replaced up front by Glover to try and add some muscle and know-how to the young attack that had misfired so far in the game

Rowley was called upon again to keep his side in contention with ten minutes remaining, making a fine double save firstly to turn Parkes' effort away from goal before smothering the follow-up shot from Weiss as the hesitant Hednesford defence failed to track back effectively 

It was the visitors who were looking the more likely to add to their tally in the latter stages of the game, hitting the post on eighty-two minutes as an inswinging corner kick missed everyone in the six-yard box before dropping to Crawford, who inexplicably turned his shot onto the post before the Pitmen somehow scrambled the ball away from goal

A late chance fell at the feet of the club's top scorer Glover with four minutes remaining as Bailey's long ball forwards found him in behind the Kings Langley defence, only for Glover to weakly drag his shot along the ground and into the hands of Minter

In the first minute of added time, a corner from O'Hanlon caused momentary confusion in the Kings Langley ranks before falling to Abadaki, whose close-range stab at goal was hacked away by the Kings Langley defence

It had been yet another dire afternoon's watch for the loyal supporters who had turned up to support their team. The next win looks a good way off on current form and confidence, with title challengers Bromsgrove Sporting arriving in town next weekend looking to add to the misery currently surrounding the Pitmen and inflict a SIXTH successive home defeat on Hednesford

Hednesford Town: Rowley, Reid, GriffithsBailey ©, Gatter, Hallahan (O'Hanlon 67), Fry (Hodge 56), King, Sweeney , Hewlett (Glover 75), Abadaki    Sub Unused: Sanali

Kings Langley: Minter, Anderson, Connolly , Hitchcock, Adebiyi, Johnson, Ward ▆ (Toiny-Pendred 70), Collins © (Williams 44), Crawford, Weiss (Linsell 85)     Subs Unused: None

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Match deleted from records in MaY 2020 after 2019-2020 season voided due to coronavirus

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