BetVictor Southern Premier League Central


Hednesford Town

Brown (7), (49), Scott (72)

(0) 0

(1) 3



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Elliot Hodge



St. Ives Town (A) 16.11.19

The Pitmen consolidate their place just behind league leaders Tamworth this evening courtesy of a regulation win over basement club Leiston in what was the club's first-ever trip to Victory Road

Saturday's dominant F.A. Trophy win over Sutton Coldfield Town saw the Pitmen make the long journey to Suffolk in fine fettle, looking to take advantage of other sides around them not playing in this round of games to move closer to table-toppers Tamworth. Manager Gary Hayward made three changes to the side that had won 5-1 at Coles Lane at the weekend, welcoming back Ben O'Hanlon at left-back after the youngster had recovered from a long-term foot injury and also bringing back James Hurst and Andre Brown at the expense of the suspended Tom Elliott and Osebi Abadaki

Bottom club Leiston's season of turmoil had taken another twist in the past week, as manager Ian Cornforth had stepped down following a humiliating 8-0 home defeat to Bromsgrove Sporting. Former manager Glen Driver and his assistant Tony Kinsella had recently left Vanarama National League South side Braintree Town and were immediately installed as the club's third management team of the season in a bid to arrest what appeared to be an almost certain slide into step four next season. Driver made five changes to the side that had lost heavily in their last game, bringing in Rob Eagle, Jerry Kamanzi, Siju Odelusi, Kyran Clements and Byron Lawrence at the expense of Ben Stannard, Charlie Canham, Harry Knights, George Keys and Noel Aitkens as he looked for an immediate response from his new-look side

Having toiled through over four hours of traffic, the Pitmen arrived at a chilly Victory Road to find a fine playing surface and a Leiston team who allowed them plenty of time to stroke the ball around on it in the early exchanges. With their first real chance of the game, the neon-yellow visitors took the lead with another goal to add to their recent glut of early strikes; Elliot Hodge laid the ball off into the path of Hurst, whose low shot from the edge of the area was too hot to handle for Leiston keeper Charlie Beckworth. Brown was alive to the loose ball and turned the ball home from close range for his fourth goal in four starts since arriving on loan from AFC Telford

The Pitmen sensed another goal straight from the restart, playing some nice, attractive football through the middle of the park as they looked to probe a nervy-looking Leiston defence that felt a little thrown together in places

One of Ben Bailey's long throws caused panic in the Leiston ranks on thirteen minutes, with Reece King's header on to the far post turned just wide by Glover, who did well to turn on a sixpence and get his shot away

Leiston's first real sight at goal came five minutes later, as Kyle Hammond's cross was headed goalwards by Will Davies, but only into the safe hands of Andy Wycherley

The home side had targetted the Hednesford right side as their go-to area to attack during the first half, doubling up on Matt Curley through Eagle and Mason Sinclair. Sinclair did well to turn inside the Hednesford right-back on twenty minutes and send over across to the far post that no-one in blue could take advantage of before it drifted out of play

O' Hanlon was the first player of the night to be shown a yellow card as he showed himself to be a little rusty following his lay-off after fouling Louis Bloom to the left of the Hednesford penalty area

Davies was on hand to meet a Sinclair cross from the left on thirty-five minutes, only to head weakly into the grateful arms of the Pitmen's on-loan keeper Wycherley once more

Eagle's runs up and down the left flank were to come back to bite for him on forty minutes, as he went down clutching his hamstring and was forced into being replaced by Sebastia Pons Llado just before the half-time break

Another run from Sinclair saw him shimmy his way past Curley once more with the final act of the first half before trying his luck with a curling effort that went just wide of the far post

Half-time saw the Pitmen make a change of their own, as O'Hanlon was rested up after getting forty-five useful minutes in and was replaced by the experienced Izak Reid

The Pitmen were to strike again four minutes into play as they had done in the first-half, with Brown doubling his, and the Pitmen's tally with a fine solo goal; Hurst's long pass was taken down well by the striker, who teased and tricked his way inside of Odelusi and Kyle Hammond before unleashing a low shot from eighteen yards out that wrongfooted Beckwith and found the bottom corner of the net

Almost immediately, the Pitmen made a second change of the evening, with another player just back from injury - Hurst - taken off in favour of the neat and tidy Kristian Scott in midfield

Brown did well to win a free-kick for the Pitmen just outside the Leisyton penalty area on fifty-four minutes, prompting Glover to try his luck with a rising shot that dipped over the crossbar

Wycherley's reflexes were tested on fifty-eight minutes, as Hammond's cross from the right was volleyed goalwards by Llado, only to find Wycherley well behind the shot to field

The Pitmen felt that they had a shout for a penalty kick on sixty-four minutes, as a deep cross from Glover aimed at Morris saw the centre-back shoved out of the way by Lawrence. However, the appeals were muted and the game continued

Jack Hallahan's lofted free-kick three minutes later found the head of Ben Bailey, whose flick heder was almost turned home at the far post by Brown for his hat-trick, only for the ball to skip away from him at the last minute and out of play

The Pitmen finally wrapped up the scoring with another fine move and goal on seventy-two minutes; Brown played the ball back down the right flank to Curley. whose deep, deep cross was headed back across goal by Glover to Scott, who couldn't miss from six yards out as he nodded into the net unchallenged for his first Hednesford goal

Leiston had offered very little going forward for much of the second period in what will have been a disappointing return to the club for Driver. Sinclair tried his luck from long range with thirteen minutes remaining but dragged his low shot well wide of goal

With ten minutes left, the Pitmen made their final change of the evening with Tom Fry replacing the impressive Brown on the left-hand side of attack for the final moments of the game

A quick break from Hednesford with six minutes left almost caught Leiston napping as Hallahan tried his luck with a snapshot from range that bobbled inches wide of Beckwith's right-hand post

Fry looked to have capped a fine night off with a fourth goal in the final minute of the game, only to be denied a goal due to a late offside flag as he stroked the ball past Beckwith from twelve yards out

Another fine win on the road for the Pitmen keeps them in touch with Tamworth at the top of the table going into Saturday's round of games, with Hayward's side on the road once more as they make another first-ever trip, this time to another struggling side in the form of St. Ives Town. More clinical finishing like tonight and the Pitmen will expect another positive result from their trip to Cambridgeshire in four days time

Leiston: Beckwith, Hammond, Eagle (Llado 40), Kamanzi, Odelusi, Clements, Lawrence © , Hitter (Henry 60), Davies, Sinclair, Bloom (Bacon 60)     Sub Unused: Bunga

Hednesford Town: Wycherley, Curley, O'Hanlon  (Reid 45), Bailey ©, Morris , Hurst (Scott 51), Hallahan, King, Glover, Hodge, Brown (Fry 80)    Subs Unused: Chambers, Gatter

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