F.A. Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round

Corby Town

Crawford (64)

Hednesford Town

Dwyer (57), Hallahan (60)

(0) 1

(0) 2



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Dan Turner



Redditch United (A) 3.11.20

The Pitmen move into the next round of this season's F.A. Trophy this afternoon as they edge out step four high-flyers Corby Town by the odd goal in three at Steel Park


Tuesday night’s fine win over Bromsgrove Sporting had given the Pitmen a huge lift after successive defeats on the road to Rushden & Diamonds and Royston Town. The club had been rocked, however, with news on Thursday that the popular Danny Glover had left the club to link up with league rivals Rushall Olympic, whilst Will Norcross had also been released after he had relocated to the north of the country. There was also a first-ever call up to the senior squad for teenager Romehl Seraton, who was named amongst the substitutes. Despite these changes to the squad, interim manager Keenen Meakin-Richards stuck with the same side that had started Tuesday night’s 5-1 win as he looked to record a first away win of the season in today’s Trophy clash


Corby had started the new season in fine form, topping the Southern League Division One Central table in the process with only one league defeat so far this season. Manager Gary Mills made just the one change to the side that had gone top of the table in midweek with a win over Daventry, bringing former Hednesford striker Steve Diggin back into the side in place of Thomas Yorston up front


On a damp and cool afternoon at Steel Park, the neon yellow-clad Pitmen made a bright start with on-loan Taylor Allen striking the first shot in anger in the fifth minute of the game which was saved unconvincingly by Craig Hill in the Corby goal before the keeper recovered well to smother the ball at the feet of the incoming Anthony Dwyer


Two minutes later, Allen again tested Hill’s reflexes, heading a deep cross from Dan Turner straight into the arms of the Corby stopper when he perhaps should have made the keeper work more for the ball


The home side started to have more of the ball after a shaky opening few minutes, with Louis Dodds doing well to deflect a shot from Corby skipper Jake Duffy following a corner to the Steelmen


A minute later, Diggin raced onto a long through ball and found himself clear of a static Hednesford defence, only for Andy Wycherley to come to his side’s rescue by claiming the through ball ahead of the former Pitman


A nasty clash involving Callam Mendez-Jones and Elliott Sandy saw both players requiring treatment on fourteen minutes, with Sandy eventually forced off as Yorston was brought on in his place up front


Dwyer was wasteful for the Pitmen on eighteen minutes, pulling his ambitious long-range effort ell wide of Hill’s goal without unduly troubling the Corby keeper


Yorston’s first contribution to the game came in the twentieth minute as he flicked a close-range effort wide of goal following a long throw that caused the Pitmen issues in clearing their lines


The Pitmen were struggling to play their natural passing game on a bumpy and poorly-treated Steel Park pitch, although a b=neat spell of play midway through the half saw Dodds play the ball into the path of Turner, whose driven effort was well saved by Hill once more


Corby’s Ollie Robinson was the first player of the afternoon to receive a booking after a poor challenge on Dwyer inside the Corby half saw the player rightly cautioned. From the resultant Jack Hallahan free-kick, the ball sailed wide of goal with no-one in yellow attacking the inswinging ball at the far post


The away side continued to press for the opener in a half they had dominated thus far, with Turner forcing Hill into another good save at his near post on the half-hour mark with a low shot that took a deflection en route to goal


Hallahan followed Robinson into the referee’s notebook on thirty-six minutes after a mistimed challenge on Gary Mulligan in midfield saw the Hednesford man shown a yellow card


Diggin was gifted Corby’s best chance of the game so far on thirty-nine minutes as Hallahan gave the ball away in a dangerous area to allow the ball to be played into the feet of the former Banbury and Brackley man, only for Wycherley to turn the striker’s shot over the crossbar for a Corby corner kick


A quickly-taken corner from Hallahan int he final minute of the first half almost caught Corby out as they were still organising their defensive line as he played the ball into the path of Allen, only for the loanee winger to lift his shot high and wide of goal


The step three Pitmen had had much the better of the possession and chance in the first half but had lacked the killer instinct shown against Bromsgrove in midweek in front of goal against their lower league opponents, who had relied on goalkeeper Hill to keep them in contention at times. The Pitmen made a change before the start of the second half as Sam Griffiths came on in place of Mendez-Jones at right-back


The second half took a while to get going, with the Pitmen going close through Dodds on fifty-one minutes as good play from Turner and Dwyer set up the former Port Vale man, only for his shot to be deflected just wide of goal


Three minutes later, Turner went within a few inches of giving the Pitmen the lead as Reece Flanagan played Turner through on goal, only for the striker’s shot to flash across the face of goal and narrowly wide of the far post


The Pitmen finally got their noses in front on fifty-seven minutes as Dwyer grabbed his first goal since returning to the club last week as he picked the ball up from deep before firing beyond the reach of Hill from the edge of the Corby penalty area with a well-struck shot


One-nil quickly became two-nil for the visitors as they struck again just three minutes later; Dwyer turned creator on this occasion as he broke forwards and laid the ball back into the path of Hallahan, who fired past Hill from eighteen yards out with a shot that the Corby keeper will feel he should have dealt with better


With confidence sky-high, the Pitmen continued to press with Turner firing a matter of inches wide of the near post with a close-range effort on sixty-two minutes


And yet, Corby got themselves back into the game courtesy of a superb effort two minutes later as Jordon Crawford reduced the deficit as he fired past Wycherley with a finely-struck volley from the edge of the Hednesford penalty area


Suddenly, the momentum seemed to be shifting towards the hosts for the first time the game as Wycherley kept his side in front on sixty-seven minutes with a save to deny Lewis White following a free-kick that was delivered from inside the Corby half


A delightful pass from Carter Lycett on seventy minutes sent Turner on his way once more, only for Hill to once again leave the striker frustrated with another save to deny him a goal


Lycett gave away free-kick in a dangerous position in Corby’s favour on seventy-three minutes, earning himself a booking in the process for a mistimed tackle on Crawford


Corby’s Callum Westwood became the latest player to incur the wrath of the referee with eleven minutes remaining as he was booked for a late tackle on Dodds in midfield


Turner’s luckless afternoon continued as he failed to turn a deep cross from Cater home at the far post, missing the ball by a matter of inches as he looked to get on the end of the substitute’s ball in


With eight minutes remaining, Hallahan had a great chance to put the Pitmen into the next round but somehow lifted his shot from six yards out over the crossbar


With six minutes of the game remaining, the visitors made their final change of the afternoon as Jed Davies came on in place of Dodds in the attacking midfield role


In the final minute of the game, Davies wasted a great chance to wrap up the game for the Pitmen but dragged his low shot well wide of Hill’s goal


With three minutes of added time already played, Corby’s final chance of the game fell at the feet of White, whose shot at goal was gratefully claimed by Wycherley


The Pitmen held on to record what was their first away win of the season in all competitions and moves them into the first round of this season’s F.A. Trophy after a hard-fought, but well-earned win over a Corby side that refused to lay down at 2-0 to the Pitmen. Meakin-Richards must now have a good chance of staking a claim for the manager’s job on a permanent basis, having now made it three wins out of five games in charge. Another away day follows this coming Tuesday night as Hednesford make the short trip to Redditch United as they return to league action

Corby Town: Hill, Robinson , Warburton, Duffy ©, White, Mulligan, Tague (Brittain 64), Westwood , Sandy (Yorston 15), Diggin (McParland 66), Crawford        Subs Unused: Gee, Broadley, Furey

Hednesford Town: Wycherley, Mendez-Jones (Griffiths 45), Lycett , Bailey ©, Rowley, Flanagan, Allen, Hallahan , Dwyer (Cater 75), Dodds (Davies 84), Turner       Sub Unused: Seraton, Veiga

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