20.10.2012

Evo-Stik Northern Premier League

Grantham Town

Grimes (19), Potts (37)

Hednesford Town 

Harvey (35), Durrell (76), O'Connor (82)

(2) 2

(1) 3

Attendance

MoTM

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228

Neil Harvey

W W L W W D L L D W

Witton Albion (H) 23.10.12

The Pitmen left it late this afternoon to register all three points at Grantham Town, coming back from 2-1 down to score two late goals through Elliott Durrell and substitute Sean O'Connor

Following the midweek draw at Nantwich Town, there were two changes to the starting line-up; Darren Campion was deemed fit enough to return to the side at left-back, with Sam Barnes missing out. Up front, Neil Harvey partnered Michael Lennon as Aaron Rey returned to the substitute's bench

A lively opening could have seen the Pitmen ahead in just two minutes - Harvey beat Phil Watt to the ball and laid it into the path of Elliott Durrell, whose low drive was well saved by former Stafford Ranger keeper James Lindley

On sixteen minutes, Michael Lennon picked up a pass from Durrell and let rip with a low drive that skimmed the left-hand post

Grantham had to wait until the eighteenth minute for their first attempt on goal and took the lead against the run of play. Paul Grimes and Rhys Lewis combined to play Connor Higginson in on goal. His shot was well saved by Dan Crane, but the ball fell kindly to Grimes, who slotted into the empty net

Back came the Pitmen with a succession of set-pieces, with one such ball in from Durrell causing panic at the back for Grantham. Francino Francis stole in and headed goalwards. It took a goal-line clearance from a Grantham defender to eventually clear the ball from danger

John Disney tried his luck on the half-hour mark, streaking forward before firing over the crossbar with a rising long-range effort. At the other end, Martin Ball forced Crane into a diving save with a low shot

Grimes took advantage of some lax Hednesford defending a minute later, getting in behind the static back line before being denied by a smothering block by Crane, who was quickly off his line

As the game swung from end to end, the Pitmen found a way through the Grantham defence to level matters on thirty-six minutes. A free-kick from the excellent Durrell was met by the head of Harvey, who powered home past Lindley from close range

However, more lax defending from the Pitmen saw them concede again almost immediately, as the hosts went back in front a minute later. Jamie McGhee's deep cross was not dealt with by Disney or Francis, allowing Lee Potts to head past Crane from six yards out

 Potts almost added to Hednesford's woes before half time, as Grimes whipped a cross that Potts turned towards goal; Crane was alert to make the block from point-blank range

Grantham were quicker out of the blocks at the start of the second half too, as McGhee's through ball to Grimes was blocked by Bailey as Grimes shaped to shoot

Lennon was working hard to pull the Pitmen back into the game, with the striker striking a volley straight at Lindley on fifty minutes after Osbourne's long throw had been deflected into his path

The Pitmen's best chance of getting back into the game seemed to be limited to set-pieces, as Harvey headed tamely wide from a Woolfe free kick on fifty-seven minutes. Francis was also guilty of wasting a header from a good position as he glanced a Woolfe corner wide of goal

McGhee tested Crane low down to his right on the hour mark, before the Pitmen made a crucial double change, with Sean O'Connor replacing Dave MacPherson and Aaron Rey coming on for Lennon

This was to prove crucial, as O'Connor's extra aggression and all-around know-how spurred the Pitmen on to an improbable comeback. Harvey should have kick-started the comeback on seventy-two minutes but put his effort over the bar after being teed up by another excellent Woolfe delivery

It was left to Durrell to grab the Pitmen's equaliser on seventy-six minutes, ghosting in behind Watt and Deon Miekle to get on the end of Woolfe's through ball and slot past Lindley from eight yards out

O'Connor capped a memorable turnaround for the visitors by giving them the lead for the first time in the game on eighty-two minutes; Durrell's corner was nodded out by Meikle, with Francis rescuing the loose ball and feeding it back wide to Durrell. His cross found O'Connor, who struck a powerful volley past Lindley to score his second goal of the season

Grantham almost conjured up an immediate response, with Damien Magee's cross headed agonisingly wide of goal by Grimes. The Pitmen looked to cover any Grantham response by putting on the more defensively-minded Alex Melbourne for Harvey with five minutes left

This seemed to have the desired effect, as Hednesford closed the game out with relative ease to chalk up a crucial three points in their quest to climb back up the league table. Fellow high-flyers Witton Albion are next up, visiting Keys Park on Tuesday night

Grantham Town: Lindley, Purcicoe, Magee (Battersby 89), Lewis, Meikle, Watt ©, McGhee (Nwadike 81), Ball, Grimes, Higginson (Demidh 62), Potts       Subs Not Used: Robinson, Brindley

Hednesford Town: Crane, Disney, Campion, Bailey, Francis, MacPherson © (O’Connor 68), Osborne, Durrell, Harvey (Melbourne 85), Lennon (Rey 68), Woolfe       Subs Unused: Bottomer, Barnes

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