Evo-Stik Northern Premier League

Hednesford Town

Maye (43), Matthews (47), (56), Carline (60)

Sutton Coldfield Town

Williams (17) (OG)

(1) 4

(1) 1



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Jamie Matthews


Grantham Town (H) 5.11.16

For the second time in three days, the Pitmen recover from going a goal down to record a fine 4-1 win, this time over struggling Sutton Coldfield Town at Keys Park this evening. Liam McDonald's men move up to third place in the table - albeit potentially for twenty-four hours


Saturday's F.A. trophy win over Stamford had seen the Pitmen enter the draw for the second qualifying round earlier in the day, with the Pitmen rewarded with a dream tie at home to bitter local rivals Stafford Rangers as a result. This was one of the main topics of discussion around the ground on an unusually mild Keys Park evening, as the Pitmen went looking for a third successive win in all competitions. Danny Glover was not deemed fit enough to start the game, meaning Jamie Matthews started up front in his place in the only change to the team that started against Stamford


Sutton's fortunes had changed little for the better since the two sides met at Coles Lane four weeks ago, with the Royals still occupying a bottom four position at the start of play. Their woes were added to at the weekend with defeat to Evo-Stik Division One South side Leek Town in the F.A. Trophy. Sutton named three familiar faces in their squad, with ex-Pitmen Jermaine Johnson, Francino Francis and the on-loan Darren Campion all making returns to their former ground

On a chilly night at Keys Park, the hosts started well with a chance for George Carline in the third minute of the game. Tom Thorley's slide-rule pass found the midfielder just outside the Sutton penalty area, with Carline taking a touch before firing just wide of Sutton keeper James Wren's right-hand post


A neat, tidy and precise move from the home side opened Sutton up once more on seven minutes; a lovely through ball from Simeon Maye played Gurjit Singh in, but the in-form forward dragged his shot wide of James Wren's goal from eighteen yards out


Campion marked his much-anticipated return to Keys Park with an early booking, incurring the wrath of the referee in the tenth minute after a late tackle on Michael Williams


Singh had started the game strongly, making one of his customary mazy runs three minutes later before firing in a low shot that just missed the far post from fifteen yards out


Despite their bright attentive start the Pitmen found themselves a goal down in the sixteenth minute, as a farcical mix-up in defence gifted the Royals the opening goal of the evening. A long ball forwards saw Ransome and Williams go for the same ball, with a lack of communication leading to Williams heading the ball past the onrushing Ransome and trickling into the empty net with no-one in blue even close to them. A truly terrible goal to concede and an unlikely advantage handed to Neil Tooth's struggling side


Campion's eventful return to the ground where he spent the best years of his career was to come to an end with the game on twenty minutes, as he was forced off with a nasty-looking injury and replaced by James Beresford


Shocked by the conceding of such a soft goal, the Pitmen cranked the pressure up on the Sutton goal with several good chances; a George Carline shot was deflected away by Beresford on twenty-two minutes, followed a minute later by a Jimmy Mutton header from close-range that was palmed away well by Wren


Sutton very nearly extended their lead on the counter-attack three minutes later, as Charles Morris fired inches wide of Ransome's post with a shot on the run after a quick break from skipper Danny O'Callagahan had played the forward in on goal

Mutton was again off-target with a header from a Thorley free-kick on twenty-nine minutes, before Jamie Matthews tested Wren's reflexes with a low shot on thirty-three minutes as he went in search of that elusive first Hednesford goal

Matthews did well to get goal side of former Tamworth man Dan Preston on thirty-seven minutes to toe-poke a Cohen Bramall cross towards goal from ten yards out, only for Wren to make a simple save

O'Callaghan's air shot from twenty yards out was the best Sutton could muster in the final minutes of the half as they seemed content to sit back and soak up the pressure form the hosts, who had thus far struggled to make their possession or territorial advantage pay


The Pitmen remained patient, however, and did draw themselves level just before half time after another spell of pressure. Thorley's corner was partially cleared by Sutton, allowing Joel Logan to seize upon the loose ball and cross from the right-wing for Maye, who fired home from six yards out to equalise with a smart finish


McDonald's half-time team talk seemed to have the desired effect for his side, as they emerged a much-changed outfit at the start of the second period and blew Sutton away with a far more ruthless display in front of goal


Just two minutes after the restart, a great run from Singh saw him beat two players and play in Matthews, who showed great composure to control the ball and beat two defenders before confidently firing past Wren to finally register his first Hednesford goal


Singh himself nearly added to the scoreline a four moments later, narrowly driving a shot past the post after another flowing move down the left-hand side involving Thorley and Bramall to play the former Kidderminster man in on goal


The Pitmen did get their third goal of the evening on fifty-six minutes as a long-range effort from Logan was uncharacteristically spilled by Wren, allowing Matthews the chance to pounce on the loose ball and fire high into the net for his second of the night


The Pitmen were now 'in the zone', playing some superb attacking football against a hapless Sutton side that simply could not cope with the home side's flair and instinct. They further increased the lead on the hour mark to make it three goals in just thirteen minutes as Matthews turned provider to cross for Carline, who confidently headed past Wren at the far post for goal number eight of the season


Singh seemed determined to get his name on the scoresheet and went close to adding a fifth for the rampant Pitmen two minutes later as he somehow hit the post from close range with a first-time shot after Cohen Bramall had found the striker from the left flank


Ashley Sammons was introduced to the game on sixty-six minutes, coming on for the tiring Singh to play behind Matthews as McDonald took the opportunity to rotate his attacking players


Former Watford striker Francis was brought on by the visitors to play up front as they looked for a consolation goal but was the hosts who continued to create the chances. On seventy-four minutes a powerful rising shot from Logan was well saved by the overworked Wren, who turned the ball away for a corner. The resultant flag-kick from Thorley was flicked on at the near post by Carline and turned wide at the far post by Matthews


Youngster Myles Phipps was given another chance to impress after his debut on Saturday, coming on for Logan with fourteen minutes remaining to play on the right-wing


This was followed a few minutes later with the introduction of Phipps' fellow youth team graduate Remeao Hutton who made his first-team debut in place of the excellent Matthews, who received a standing ovation from the Keys Park faithful after a superb display and had finally broken his buck in front of goal


Wren made another good save from Thorley with eight minutes remaining, pushing the Hednesford skipper's long-range effort away from goal for yet another Hednesford corner kick. By this point, the pace of the game slowed as the hosts looked to see out the game against a defeated Sutton side that was simply looking to limit the damage

In the final minute of the game, clever one-touch football on the edge of the Sutton penalty area saw Sammons play Hutton in down the left, only for a smothering save from Wren to deny the teenager a shot at goal

Sammons himself was narrowly off target in added time as his curling effort from the right-hand side of the Sutton penalty area drifted just wide of the upright 

It was a third successive win for the Pitmen and moves them within three points of top spot tonight with a full programme of fixtures due tomorrow, so this may only be a temporary position they occupy until the sides around them play. Grantham Town provide the opposition at the weekend as the Pitmen look to continue their recent good form with another home win against a Gingerbreads side who have a very indifferent record at Keys Park in previous visits to South Staffordshire


Hednesford Town: Ransome, Williams, Bramall, Maye, Mutton, Flanagan, Logan (Phipps 75), Thorley ©, Matthews ▆ (Hutton 79), Singh (Sammons 66), Carline      Subs Unused: Crane, Glover


Sutton Coldfield Town: Wren, Green, Campion ▆  (Beresford 21), McNaught, Preston, Johnson, Gayle, O’Callaghan ©, Keen (Francis 68), Blake, Morris (Smith 73)       Sub Unused: Male