top of page


F.A. Cup 1st Qualifying Round

Boston Town

Bayliss (6), Ashton (26)

Hednesford Town

(2) 2

(0) 0



Current Form

Next Match


Devarn Green

 D L L W D W L

Stourbridge (A) 4.9.17

The Pitmen suffer yet more F.A. Cup humiliation this afternoon, as Boston Town add their name to the long list of lower league clubs to have defeated the Pitmen in the earlier rounds of the competition. The result leaves Neil Tooth's position as manager looking more and more precarious, given the loss of potential revenue from an F.A. Cup run and the club's turbulent history of sacking managers following early cup exits

Tooth - coming off the back of a derby day win over Stafford Rangers on Bank Holiday Monday - was forced into a change between the sticks, as James Wren was ruled out due to a finger injury sustained against Stafford. Veteran stopper Jose Veiga made his Hednesford debut in one of three changes to the side, with Jordan Nadat coming in for Luke Rodgers and Ben Bailey returning to the team in place of Sam Oji

Boston had only played in three league games so far this season due to their involvement in the F.A. Cup, picking up four points in the United Counties League Premier Division so far. Cup wins over Radford and Carlton Town had brought the Poachers to the first qualifying round, and the chance to move into the next qualifying round and a possible tie with near-neighbours Boston United

The away side started with purpose, with Devarn Green causing problems out wide on the left early on. A great cross in the third minute found the head of Danny Glover, but the two-goal striker headed narrowly over the crossbar

It was from another attack from green that Boston took a shock lead in the sixth minute; Green's low cross into the penalty area was cleared and played up to the feet of Will Britton. His cross was dealt with unconvincingly by the Hednesford defence, allowing Fraser Bayliss to get on the end of the cross and fire into the roof of the net from ten yards out

Four minutes later, patient build-up play from the Pitmen saw Kris Taylor and Green combine inside the penalty area culminating in Green lifting his shot over the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area

Taylor failed to convincingly test James Lambley in the Boston goal on eighteen minutes, weakly driving a low shot straight at the Boston number one from the edge of the Boston penalty area

The hosts were happy to allow the visitors the ball during the opening quarter of the game, keeping two banks of four behind the ball at all times and causing issues with quick counter attacks. In the twenty seventh minute, they put clear daylight between themselves and the Pitmen with a killer second goal. A long throw from the right from Richard Ford caught the Pitmen out, allowing centre back Simon Ashton to head unchallenged beyond Veiga and make it 2-0

A loose ball from Lewis Wright almost saw the Pitmen come unstuck again on the half hour mark as a long ball over the top saw Britton in on goal. Veiga was alert to the danger however, and made a smart save low down to his left to deny Boston a dream third goal

Green - arguably the only player in a grey shirt looking to create chances for the Pitmen - made a great run in from the wing on thirty four minutes, cutting inside and driving a rising shot just over the crossbar

Despite calls for changes at the half time break, Tooth stuck by his mis-firing side at the start of the second half. However, the flaky defending and wasteful passing was in evidence once more on fifty minutes as a loose ball from Bailey saw Bayliss play another long ball in behind the Hednesford defence, finding Jordan Nuttell. His slide rule pass to Ben Davison saw the midfielder drive in a hot that was easily saved by Veiga

The Poachers had a loud shout for a penalty kick on fifty seven minutes, as Davison's cross was controlled by Nuttell in the area, with the ball seemingly bouncing off the arm of Jim Mutton as he stepped in to clear the bouncing ball. The referee was unmoved by the protests however and the game continued. The ball was quickly moved forwards by the disappointing James Lawrie to Nadat, whose low drive was saved by Lambley

Taylor found a pocket of space thirty yards from goal on sixty two minutes, picking up a pass from Wright before drilling his shot over the crossbar from just outside the penalty area

Tall midfielder Stephen Palmer was handed his Hednesford debut on seventy minutes, with the former Boldmere and Romulus man coming on in place of the ineffective Lawrie

Palmer was straight into the action for the Pitmen, playing a deep cross-field ball to find the head of Glover, whose weak effort was scooped up by Lambley

Palmer himself tried his luck from long range on seventy six minutes, driving his effort wide of the post after Wright had played the ball inside to him from the right flank

Clever play from Britton almost opened up the dreadful Hednesford defence once more on eighty one minutes, as his quick turn out-foxed the Pitmen's centre backs and gave him time to deliver a powerful drive that was inches away from Veiga's upright

A moment of madness from Veiga almost let Boston in for a third goal three minutes later, as as he raced out of goal to challenge Nuttell out on the left wing. Nuttell did well to pick out Aaron Eyett on the edge of the penalty area, but his shot lacked direction and flew wide with Veiga all at sea on the edge of his penalty area

Lee Smith came on in place of the tiring Taylor with five minutes remaining, in what was the Pitmen's final change of what was to prove a disastrous afternoon for the Evo-Stik League Premier side

In the final minute, Eyett wasted a great chance to finish off their higher league opponents, as a quick break saw the midfielder get in behind a static Hednesford defence but once again lacked composure and drove his shot into the crowd from a good position

In added time, Green summed up Hednesford's afternoon as he got on the end of a long throw from Smith, but clipped his shot inches wide of the far post with the final chance of the game

Tooth was understandably upset with the result and the overall commitment of his players at the final whistle, as he faced some tough questions about his future and his ability to motivate the players at his disposal as well as the spectre of an early sacking in light of the club's early exit from the competition. Monday night's trip to Stourbridge will be another severe test of character, against a confident side who are likely to be amongst the front-runners for the title this season as the difficult games keep coming for the increasingly beleaguered Tooth 

Boston Town: J. Lambley, L. Lambley, Parker, Ashton, Field ©, Ford, Eyett, Davison, Britton, Nuttell, Bayliss       Subs: Pinner, Forth, Epton, Tate, Maddison

Hednesford Town: Veiga, Wright, Melbourne, Bailey, Mutton, Taylor (Smith 85), Lawrie (Palmer 70), Thorley ©, Glover, Nadat, Green       Subs Unused: Oji, M. Martin, Wren

bottom of page