4.3.2010

Zamaretto Southern Premier League

Hednesford Town

Durrell (13), (30), (86), Proffitt (47)

Farnborough

(2) 4

(0) 0

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

327

Elliott Durrell

L D L L W D W W L W

Brackley Town (A) 6.3.10

Well, would you believe it? After a double blow this week, with defeats against Didcot in the league and Cambridge City in the Red Insurance Cup, the Pitmen produce a quite magnificent performance to succumb runaway league leaders Farnborough to their heaviest defeat of the season - their first away from home

The fans turned up to an arctic Keys Park to learn that popular striker Ross Dyer had been dropped to the substitute's bench following a run of indifferent performances. He was replaced by recent signing Dorryll Proffitt, with Zak Martin switching places with Aaron Gibson in the only other change in personnel for the home side

Farnborough had sat atop of the Zamaretto Premier League for the majority of the season and had been clear by as many as eighteen points on the chasing pack at one stage. However, their once-commanding lead had been eaten into over the campaign, as the likes of Brackley, Bashley and Nuneaton had all hit form at various times to narrow the gap below ten points

Elliott Durrell's recent performances under Bernard McNally had suggested a return to the kind of form the youngster had found in the earlier parts of last season, with Durrell turning in a dazzling performance to leave the table-toppers stunned

His influence on the game started early on, spraying passes across the pitch in an attempt to get the home side going. His first sight on goal on thirteen minutes was clinical, as he accelerated past two Farnborough players before firing past Farnborough keeper Michael Jordan with a low angled shot

The away side responded four minutes later, with Daryl McMahon shooting wide of Stuart Brock's goal with a wayward shot following a quick free-kick

Durrell was everywhere for the Pitmen, linking play in all areas and taking all of the team's set-pieces. His venomous free kick on twenty minutes was well saved by Jordan after Durrell had fired in a powerful low shot at goal

Tyrone Barnett, who had failed to score in the last two games following his hat-trick against Clevedon, was giving Farnborough's defenders a torrid time with his movement. His pace almost created a chance on twenty-seven minutes, as he nipped in ahead of the Farnborough defenders, but was beaten to the ball by a last-ditch challenge from Jordan, who managed to prod the ball away from Barnett before he could nick the ball past him

Barnett was again involved three minutes later, making a dangerous run towards the penalty area before James Smith hacked him down as he shaped to shoot - Smith went into the referee's book for the poor challenge. Durrell picked the ball up and placed it down a couple of yards outside the area, before bending the ball around the wall and past a stranded McMahon to double the Pitmen's advantage

Further half chances fell to Barnett and Proffitt before the break, but a combination of Farnborough defenders and Jordan's goalkeeping kept the score at 2-0 at half time

McNally will have been delighted with his team's attitude in the first half, and will probably have been asking for the same again at the start of the second period. If he did... well he certainly got it, as the Pitmen moved further out in front just a couple of minutes after the restart

Proffitt chased down Jordan, who tried to control the ball on the edge of his penalty area but made a hash of his clearance, allowing Proffitt to rob the ball off him and slide the ball home past McMahon's desperate last-ditch dive for his first goal for the club

Despite the damage seemingly being done, the visitors started to come back into the game at three-nil down and forced the Pitmen back as they looked for an unlikely way back into the game. Gary Holloway had a great chance to reduce arrears on the hour mark as he headed Nic Cardiani's cross dangerously across the face of goal, but with no Farnborough player following up, the ball was cleared by Decio Gomes

Indeed, Gomes and Liam Francis, ably assisted by Ben Bailey, are starting to look the real deal at the back, as they went looking for a third clean sheet in four games. They dealt well with the threat of Kezie Ibe and the impressive Dean McDonald with a stout, resolute attitude

Proffitt, who seemed to be enjoying his first start for the club playing alongside Barnett and Durrell, almost grabbed his second goal of the night after picking up a superb pass from Durrell, but this time failed to hit the target with a wild shot over the crossbar

That was pretty much Proffitt's last involvement in the game, as he was replaced by Dyer on seventy-five minutes as he tired from a lack of regular games in recent weeks

Farnborough kept plugging away after making a double substitution, with Ibe getting their only shot on target in the whole game in with six minutes remaining. His turn and low shot was well saved by Brock, who must have been more worried about frostbite than the front two of Farnborough as the game had progressed

Durrell seemed determined to put the icing on the cake and duly grabbed his hat-trick goal with four minutes remaining; after linking up with Barnett, who controlled Gomes's long ball out brilliantly before slipping the ball into the path of Durrell, the little playmaker fired powerfully past Jordan to complete the win with aplomb

The Pitmen will be absolutely delighted with such a convincing win over the side that will be the likely winners of this year's title, making the defeat to Didcot look like a case of 'what if'. The play-offs still look a little too far out of reach, but with three points here, allied with a positive result on Saturday at play-off chasing Brackley, well, who knows? McNally and his troops will keep plugging away regardless, but the tough games will continue to come thick and fast and will require wins in many of them to leave the Pitmen with a shout of the top five

Hednesford Town: Brock, Platt ©, Martin ▆  Bailey, Francis, Gomes, Durrell , Craddock, Barnett, Proffitt (Dyer 75), Dunkley         Subs Unused: Gibson, Chapman, Overton, Flynn

Farnborough: Jordan, Braham-Barrett, Ciardini, Smith, Robinson, Doyle, Wormnull, Holloway, Ibe, McDonald, Bubb     Subs Unused: McCollin, Dobson, King, Price, Robinson

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