28.8.2010

Zamaretto Southern Premier League

Didcot Town

Hednesford Town

Patterson (36), (63), Osborne (42)

(0) 0

(2) 3

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

191

Jamey Osborne

L W W L W

Banbury United (A) 17.8.10

Three away games, three wins, eight goals scored, none conceded. That's the Pitmen's league record so far this season, as they made short work of Didcot this afternoon to continue their fine record on their travels

A number of circumstances saw manager Bernard McNally forced into changes to his side; skipper Sean Platt was injured, and was replaced by new signing Kyle Patterson, who went and played up front - Mark Bellingham was awarded the captaincy. The surprise news that Hednesford supporters were greeted with upon their arrival was that of the release of midfielder Dave Bridgwater, due to budget cuts - Chris Clements returned to the starting XI in his place. Finally, teenager Jamey Osborne was handed a deserved full debut after a succession of impressive cameo appearances as a substitute, in place of Aaron Gibson who was dropped to the bench

On a beautifully bright but windy afternoon in Oxfordshire, both sides made a fair start to the game, with Hednesford having an early opportunity courtesy of Patterson. Osborne jinked his way past two half-hearted Didcot challenges before clipping the ball into the area, where the new boy was on hand to head well over the crossbar

Eight minutes into the game, Didcot responded with a shot from Morgan Williams from long-range that was well fielded by Dan Crane in the Hednesford goal

The away side enjoyed the better of the play on the opening fifteen minutes, with Patterson looking a threat with his excellent first touch, ably assisted by the hard-working Bellingham, who was thriving in his role as skipper

On thirteen minutes, Osborne went on another mazy run after winning the ball on halfway, beating two players down the left-hand side before sending over a cross that just evaded the onrushing Bellingham and Alfie Carter

Patterson went closest to opening the scoring five minutes later, pouncing on a loose ball and lashing it inches wide of the left-hand post wide an acrobatic overhead kick

The Pitmen were now well in control of the game, with Jay Denny and Clements winning the midfield battle. Clements was involved heavily in a chance for Carter on twenty-two minutes, playing him in with a clever through ball that allowed Carter to fire straight at Didcot stopper Sam Warrell

The one real chance that dropped to Didcot fell to Mark Draycott on twenty-five minutes, with Crane at his best to block Draycott's shot with his legs after the Hednesford defence had failed to clear

Bellingham and Patterson continued to threaten a flaky-looking Didcot defence, with a handful of dubious offside decisions going against the pair. Even former England striker Michael Ricketts, in attendance to support old Walsall colleague Carter, shook his head in disbelief at one such decision on thirty minutes

Finally, Hednesford's pressure told with a goal ten minutes before the break. The home side were the architects of their own downfall, losing the ball from a corner kick deep in Hednesford territory and allowing Liam Francis to find Bellingham. The stand-in skipper did brilliantly wide on the left, turning two Didcot challenges and beating Warrell with a mazy run. His angled shot was on target but was cleared off the line by Didcot legend Jamie Heapy, who appeared to handle the ball as he got back. The rebound dropped kindly to Patterson, who had the simple task of firing home from ten yards out

The goal visibly lifted the visitors, as they pressurised Didcot in the final few minutes of the half with their array of attacking talent. Carter's smart volley was deflected over by desperate Didcot defending, followed by another run by Osborne on forty-one minutes that saw him hit a brilliant swerving shot that Warrell turned over the bar for a corner kick. From the resultant corner, Ben Bailey was first to the ball with his head but cleared the crossbar as he leant backwards to get to the ball

A minute later, and Osborne decided to try his luck from the same range again, this time with spectacular results. His pace took him away from his marker tight to the left, making just enough space for him to strike a breathtaking curling shot from fully thirty yards that swerved past Warrell and found the top far corner of the net. Brilliant

Osborne was leading Didcot a merry dance at this point, and another clever bit of play saw him elect to lob Warrell just before half time, with the young keeper equal to his effort this time

Didcot made an attacking change at the break in an attempt to liven up this attack, with youngster Elliott Osborne-Ricketts brought on in place of defender Michael Hopkins. Ricketts injected pace into the Railwaymen's attack but could do little to stem the flow as Hednesford continued to press in the second half

Bellingham went close to breaking his duck for the Pitmen five minutes after the restart but failed to get the ball under control as he approached the area, allowing the ball to be cleared

Carter, who was looking to improve on his two-goal tally so far this term, briefly threatened with a barnstorming run on fifty-seven minutes, but his shot was horribly off target when a better option seemed to be to play Bellingham in. Patterson tested Warrell with a drive that was well held by the Didcot goalkeeper

Just after the hour mark, the Pitmen wrapped up the game with a killer third goal. Man of the match Osborne was once again involved, whipping in a ball that Scott Fuller headed back into the path of Patterson, who finished with aplomb from ten yards

Almost immediately, McNally made his one and only substitution, with Gibson replacing the tiring Carter out on the left-wing

Suddenly, it looked as though the Pitmen would score from every break they made. Osborne wriggled his way through and fired wide, followed by a late lineman's flag to deny Bellingham his golden goal

Indeed, Bellingham could have grabbed Hednesford's fourth goal fifteen minutes from time, breaking clear of the Didcot defence to latch onto Clements' through ball, but Warrell was equal to Bellingham's shot with a smothering save down low

Didcot continued to work away, but their attacking threat had long been blunted by the impressive pairing Cheyenne Dunkley and Scott Fuller, who looked unbeatable at times. They did muster one final chance to score in the last minutes, but James Mortimer-Jones somehow fired wide of Crane's goal with the net gaping, pretty much summing up the home side's day

McNally will be delighted with such a response to the poor performance against Cambridge on Tuesday, but the real test will be when they return to Keys Park again to face Bellingham's former employers Leamington on Bank Holiday Monday 

Didcot Town: Warrell, Dutton-Black (Alexis 45), Hopkins, A. Williams, Stanley, Gunn, Witt (Osborne-Ricketts 60), Heapy ©, Draycott (Bartley 70), Mortimer-Jones, M. Williams       Subs Unused: Huggins, Bucknor

Hednesford Town: Crane, Bailey , Francis, Dunkley, Fuller, Denny, Osborne , Clements, Bellingham ©, Patterson, Carter (Gibson 65)      Subs Unused: Brock, Overfield, Keenan, Orbell

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