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Vanarama National League North

Gainsborough Trinity

Newsham (9), (29), Davis (63)

Hednesford Town

Perry (86)

(2) 3

(0) 1



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Sean Williams


Stalybridge Celtic (A) 19.12.15

Bernard McNally's job as Hednesford manager hangs by a thread this evening after his Hednesford side are easily swept aside by mid-table Gainsborough in this re-arranged game at Northolme

Arriving in Lincolnshire off the back of a poor run of form, the Pitmen once again found themselves without Tom Thorley, who was still coming back from recent injury woes. McNally made one change to the side that had lost to AFC Fylde the previous week, with Tom Peers coming straight back into the side after returning to Keys Park for a second loan period from Vanarama National League side Chester

Gainsborough's recent upturn in form had seen them move away from the relegation scrap that Hednesford had been dragged into over the last few weeks, with Trinity winning three of their last four games to sit just outside the top ten before the start of play. Manager Steve Housham had significantly strengthened his forward line during the summer months with the captures of North Ferriby's Nathan Jarman and Boston's Marc Newsham - both established, prolific scorers at step two level

A frenetic opening to the game saw the ball batted around by both sides without any real refinement or purpose as the game struggled to settle into any rhythm. Sean Williams tried his luck from long range in the seventh minute but fired straight into the arms of former Wolves reserve keeper Jan Budtz

It was the home side that took the early advantage, however, with that man Newsham on the scoresheet in the ninth minute of the game; strike partner Jarman as involved, slipping the ball through to Newsham, who fired past Dan Crane as he ran onto the defence-splitting ball

The early opener affected the Pitmen's confidence straight away, with heads going down and the Pitmen struggling to contain a confident Gainsborough side. Ben Bailey had to be alert on twelve minutes, blocking Jarman's goalbound shot and diverting it away for a corner

A minute later, Crane came to Hednesford's rescue making a fine stop to deny Liam Davis a second goal for the hosts after the winger had found a way through the porous Hednesford defence

More pressure was exerted on the overworked Hednesford defence as the game hit the fifteen-minute mark, with Davis again testing Crane's reflexes on sixteen minutes with a deflected cross that had the Pitmen's number one scrambling across to make a save

Newsham wasted an excellent opportunity to double his tally for the afternoon on nineteen minutes, somehow heading Stephen Brogan's cross wide of goal when it looked easier to score from close range

A rare Hednesford chance was presented to the excellent Sean Williams on twenty-three minutes, but the midfielder lifted a free-kick high over the crossbar and into the Hednesford supporters gathered behind Budtz' goal

Newsham eventually did get his second goal of the afternoon just before the half-hour mark, scoring what was essentially the goal that killed off the Pitmen. A break down the Trinity right saw Jamie Yates square the ball to Newsham, who swept the ball past Crane from close range

Peers forced Budtz into a good save on thirty-five minutes with a left-footed drive, but that was to be as close as the visitors were to go in creating a chance in what had been a dire first-half display

Half time saw an exasperated McNally make a bold tactical change up front, as he brought on the physical Kyle Perry in favour of the struggling Kennedy Digie in midfield, who had been a virtual passenger in the Pitmen's tame first-half display

The change almost brought immediate rewards for the Pitmen, as Perry got his first taste of the game two minutes after the restart. However, he turned a good chance just wide of goal after outmuscling a Trinity defender to get on the end of a Williams ball

Newsham was inches away from celebrating his hat-trick for Gainsborough on fifty minutes, rising highest above the Hednesford defence but just missing a Yates corner kick at the far post

Perry was again involved for the Pitmen on fifty-two minutes, linking up well with Ahmed Obeng but again getting his effort all wrong with another scuffed shot wide of goal

Trinity continued to ramp up the pressure on the Hednesford defence as the second half moved on, with a succession of corner kicks keeping the Pitmen on their toes. However, the game was put to bed courtesy of the impressive Davis on sixty-three minutes. After Brogan had hit the woodwork with a free-kick, Simon Russell did well to recycle the ball and play in Davis, who turned well and fired past Crane for a well-deserved second goal

Gainsborough's third goal signalled a change for the Pitmen with Danico Johnson brought on in favour of the tiring Obeng, who had had little joy all afternoon in a game where he had looked isolated and lacked any real support from his team-mates

Johnson did offer some threat for the Pitmen, using his pace well to give the Gainsborough defence something to think about at this late stage in the game. Budtz was equal to the young striker's low shot on seventy-five minutes, with striker partner Perry going even closer to grabbing a consolation goal on eighty-two minutes with another shot just wide of goal

By this point in the game, Tom James had been introduced to the game, coming on with fifteen minutes left to replace the out-of-sorts Matt Regan

Perry finally got the goal his efforts deserved on eighty-six minutes, as Peers headed towards goal and saw Perry do enough to divert it past Budtz from close range to give the supporters some cheer on a miserable afternoon otherwise

There was still time for man of the match Sean Williams to fire inches over the bar with a rising effort, followed by another off-target shot from Perry as Budtz dropped a James cross at the striker's feet

All in all, a poor afternoon and a pretty dreadful first-half display from the Pitmen, who are now only outside the relegation zone on goal difference.

McNally's future will be the subject of much scrutiny in the next forty-eight hours as the club looks towards the busy Christmas schedule in poor form and with very little confidence in their abilities. Another tough away game awaits McNally and his team next weekend when they travel back north to face Stalybridge Celtic at Bower Fold

Gainsborough Trinity: Budtz, Roma ©, Lacey, Brogan, D’Laryea, Picton, Russell (Binns 82), Davis (Drury 79), Newsham, Jarman, Yates       Subs Unused: Stamp, Wilson, Hedge

Hednesford Town: Crane, Disney, Regan (James 75), Bailey ©, T. Williams, Digie (Perry 45), S. Williams, Thomas, Peers, Obeng (Johnson 63), Todd       Subs Unused: Ennis, Trainer

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