5.10.2010

Zamaretto Southern Premier League

Hednesford Town

Osborne (19) 

Evesham United

(1) 1

(0) 0

Attendance

MoTM

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319

Jamey Osborne

W L W D L L D W D W

Oxford City (A) 9.10.10

Rob Smith's new regime at Keys Park got its first win this evening, as a Jamey Osborne strike is enough to lift the Pitmen into seventh place in the league at the expense of Evesham United

Following a steady start to his career at Keys Park with a draw at Brackley on Saturday, Smith persisted with the same XI that had gone three unbeaten in the Zamaretto League Premier. He made a handful of changes amongst his substitutes, with Elliott Durrell nor Jarred Stevens fit enough to take part this evening. Youngsters Tom Overfield and Sam Orbell came in as replacements for the pair on the bench

Evesham made the trip up the M5 off the back of a fine win over Hemel Hempstead Town at the weekend to make it successive wins in the league for Paul West's side. Perhaps unsurprisingly, West stuck with the same side that had won at their temporary home at Worcester's St. George's Lane on Saturday, which moved the Robins into the top half of the table in the process

There was a boost to the club ahead of kick-off, with owner Steve Price making his return to the stands after a serious accident at his Devon holiday retreat a number of weeks ago

A fairly quiet opening quarter of the game saw both sides spend time eyeing each other up. On ten minutes, Kyle Patterson was pulled back by a linesman's flag after he had brought down an Osborne ball out of the chilly Keys Park air

Four minutes later, Jimmy Turner got on the end of a Chris Clements corner kick, heading firmly towards goal. He was denied his first goal for the club courtesy of Anthony Watson's goal-line clearance

The busy Patterson was almost presented with a gift on seventeen minutes, as Evesham keeper Lewis Skyers slipped in front of the Hednesford striker with the ball at his feet, only just reacting in time to steer the ball away from goal as Patterson looked as though he was going to steal the ball

Hednesford's growing pressure finally told midway through the half; Clements and Patterson were the creators, linking up just outside the Evesham penalty area. After exchanging passes, the ball was partly cleared by Josh Quaynor, who played the ball into the path of Osborne. The teenager steadied himself before unleashing an unstoppable swerving shot that beat Skyers all ends up

Hednesford pushed on in search of a second goal, with Alfie Carter heading horribly wide after getting into a good position to meet Sean Platt's driven cross on twenty-six minutes

Patterson should have scored that second goal on the half-hour mark, with Aaron Gibson forcing his way down the left wing before crossing for Patterson, who side-footed inches wide of Skyers' far post - it looked easier to score from seven yards out

It seemed inevitable that the hosts would score a second, and two minutes before the break, they really should have. Osborne's trickery saw him make his way towards the area, before slipping the ball through to Carter. Just as Carter shaped to shoot, Watson came from nowhere to get his boot to ball and divert the effort wide of goal

After such a positive first half, the Hednesford supporters were probably hoping for a similar second half to kill Evesham off. What they got was the opposite, as the Pitmen struggled to hang on for long periods of the game. Evesham made a goalkeeping change at the break also, with Nathan Vaughan replacing Skyers

Former Hednesford triallist Jermaine Clarke was first to test the Pitmen's resolve three minutes with a superb chance. Another former Hednesford triallist - Simon Fitter - sent over a fine cross from a corner to find the big burly striker, who powerfully headed against the crossbar and back out into play with Crane stuck to his goal line

Clarke was involved again on fifty-four minutes, slipping in Isaac Shaze through a static Hednesford defence. However, at the crucial moment, the Evesham forward lost his control of the ball and allowed Crane to smother the ball

With the visitors having all of the play, Smith decided to make two swift changes, with Louis Keenan coming on for Aaron Gibson and Dorryl Proffitt replacing the tiring Alfie Carter

The Pitmen were living off scraps, playing on the counter-attack in the few moments they had the ball. Clements was trying to get the Pitmen moving by spraying balls to the wing, but with little success or support

There was a further change for the Pitmen with nineteen minutes remaining when Overfield replaced Osborne, who went off to rapturous applause from the Hednesford faithful

With fifteen minutes left, Evesham's Zac Costello hit a powerful shot from fully twenty-five yards that caused Crane panic - however, his shot was inches wide of goal

Crane was to prove the Pitmen's hero in the final ten minutes, as he made two tremendous saves in quick succession. John Davidson, making his Evesham debut, headed Fitter's ball towards goal on eighty-five minutes before being denied by Crane's reflexes

With a minute left, Quaynor thought he had earned the away side a deserved point, but again Crane came to the Pitmen's rescue, turning the back post header away for a corner

Some say that a win's a win, but based on the second-half performance, Smith and assistant Larry Chambers have a lot of work to do to make this a promotion-pushing side. Next up - a trip down the M40 to struggling Oxford City

Hednesford Town: Crane, Platt ©, Francis, Bailey, Turner, Denny, Osborne (Overfield 71), Clements, Carter (Proffitt 64), Patterson, Gibson (Keenan 61)      Subs Unused: Dunkley, Orbell

Evesham United: Skyers (Vaughan 45), Watson, Quaynor, Davidson, Luckett ©, Costello, Fitter, Barnfield, Clarke, Accam, Shaze (Nisbett 79)      Subs Unused: Brown, Koriya, Robbins