F.A. Cup 3rd Qualifying Round

Hednesford Town

Clements (26) (penalty), Wellecomme (45)

Corby Town

Rhead (56), (66), (90), Hall (60)

(2) 2

(0) 4



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Nick Wellecomme


Bedworth United (A) 22.10.11

The Pitmen's F.A. Cup adventure is over for another year, as Blue Square Bet North side Corby Town come from behind to put their name in the hat for Monday's fourth qualifying round draw

Having had a week to prepare for the game following the farce of Tuesday night's postponed game at Marine, Rob Smith and Larry Chambers named an unchanged side from Saturday's win over Frickley Athletic. Mark Danks was deemed fit enough again to be named amongst the substitutes, with Ben Bailey also making the bench after returning from a loan spell at Sutton Coldfield Town

Another sizeable Keys Park crowd was in attendance, hoping to see the Pitmen move into the next round for the first time in six seasons. They saw the hosts make a bright start, as Corby found Gary Hay and Nick Wellecomme both more than willing to stretch the Steelmen's back line with their pace and power

It was the influential Chris Clements who was first to strike a warning at the Corby goal on nine minutes, weaving his way past a couple of half-hearted Corby challenges before firing just over with a dipping shot

A succession of corners and free-kicks in and around the Corby third of the pitch saw the Pitmen continue to stream forward, with Cheyenne Dunkley heading wide of goal after getting his head to a Clements corner on eleven minutes

Hay was making a real nuisance of himself, using his years of experience at all levels of non-league football to keep the ball and bring the likes of Clements and Jay Denny into the game. One such move saw Hay lay the ball into the path of Denny, whose scuffed shot failed to test veteran Corby keeper Chris Mackenzie from distance

Clements got his angles all wrong with a wild free-kick that sailed high over the crossbar on seventeen minutes, but there was no doubting that the hosts were on top. Up to this point, Corby had offered little in the way of an attacking threat, with Dunkley and Pedro Monteiro comfortably dealing with the threat of giant target man Matt Rhead

The home side were awarded a penalty on twenty-six minutes as Gary Hay appeared to be fouled by Corby captain Phil Gulliver as Hay tried to force his way past the defender just inside the box. Clements, who had scored in his previous five games, confidently fired low to Mackenzie's right to give the Pitmen the lead

Wellecomme - who joined Corby for just three weeks last summer - looked like a man on a mission, making several positive runs down the Hednesford left in an attempt to drag the Corby defenders out of position. A Clements through ball set Wellecomme on his way on thirty-two minutes, but his attempted shot was blocked by Mackenzie

Corby's day got worse on thirty-five minutes when Aynsley McDonald collapsed on the edge of the away side's penalty area after a fairly innocuous challenge. After several minutes of treatment, he was stretched off with what was later diagnosed as a broken ankle

Wellecomme and Hay linked up well to create an opening on forty-two minutes, with Wellecomme's shot diverted away for a corner kick. Clements' ball in drifted right under the crossbar, with Mackenzie doing well to hold the ball despite a number of challenges from onrushing Hednesford players

Wellecomme's brilliant half did not end there, however, as the big striker put the Pitmen two goals to the good in the final minute of the first half. Another marauding run down the left saw Wellecomme pick up Campion's throw, before cutting inside and striking a low shot that somehow beat Mackenzie at his near post and find the corner of the net

Corby's wretched first half was soon forgotten by the away fans during the early stages of the second half, as they took a stranglehold of the game. Rhead fired a warning shot at the Pitmen on fifty-one minutes, missing Dan Crane's near post by a narrow margin

A rush of blood from youngster Dunkley allowed Corby to gain a lifeline on fifty-six minutes, as a cross into the area was handled by the centre back when there seemed to be little danger. The referee awarded Corby a penalty and booked Dunkley for his moment of madness. Rhead sent Crane the wrong way from the spot to reduce arrears

Suddenly, the previously solid Hednesford defence was looking decidedly flaky; the composure of the first half was replaced by misplaced passes and a lack of order. One such moment saw a cheap free-kick given away on the hour mark, with Andy Hall bending a sublime free-kick over and around the wall to leave Crane flat-footed and level matters

Hednesford's game plan was fast unravelling, and Dunkley further added to the woes by earning a second yellow card in seven minutes for a foul. The youngster was shown a red card for the first time in his Hednesford career and did not hang around to watch the game as he sloped off the pitch and down the tunnel

Smith attempted to counter this by replacing striker Hay with defender Bailey immediately, leaving Wellecomme to fight a lone battle up front. The ploy failed to work, as Corby took the lead for the first time two minutes later. A high ball towards the far post looked to be claimed by Crane, who leapt to catch the ball ahead of Rhead. However, the big stopper made an uncharacteristic error in spilling the ball, dropping it at the feet of Rhead, who did enough to scoop the loose ball into the net

Hednesford's tactics changed again with the third Corby goal, as Danny Quinn was introduced to add firepower up front to aid Wellecomme; skipper Campion was taken off in place of Quinn as the Pitmen looked to keep the game narrow in the latter stages

Indeed, ten-man Hednesford had chances to snatch an equaliser and set up a tense last ten minutes. A Clements free-kick was well parried by Mackenzie on seventy-six minutes, whilst Clements found himself crowded out as he tried to weave his way through a stubborn Corby defence

Wellecomme's afternoon was brought to an abrupt end seven minutes from time, as the powerful, muscular Marvin Robinson was introduced in his place

As Hednesford scrapped for a goal to send the game into a replay, Jamey Osborne - booked in the first half - pretty much ended the Pitmen's afternoon as he joined Dunkley in taking an early bath after pushing Hall over and earning a second yellow card

The Pitmen tried to launch the ball forward in the direction of Robinson and Quinn, but Corby dealt with the aerial threat posed from long balls from Bailey and Chris Shaw. In added time, the ball was played back to Crane for a long punt upfield. Crane made a hash of his control, allowing Rhead to rob the ball off him and fire into the corner of the net to complete his hat-trick and end the Pitmen's interest in the F.A. Cup for another year

Hednesford Town: Crane, Haynes, Shaw, Monteiro, Dunkley   (66), Denny, Osborne  ▆ (85), Clements, Wellecomme (Robinson 83), Hay, Campion © ▆ (Quinn 71)      Subs Unused: Gomes, Clarke, Durrell, Danks

Corby Town: Mackenzie, Gordon, McDonald (Rogan 34), Malone, Gulliver ©, Hibbert , Hall (Ozmen 90), Towers, Rhead, Smith, Spruce      Subs Unused: Dossou, Land, Ives, Fairlamb

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