28.3.2009

UniBond Northern Premier League

Guiseley

Hanson (21)

Hednesford Town

Dyer (40), (73) (penalty)

(1) 1

(1) 2

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

307

Decio Gomes

W L L L L L L W D W

Whitby Town (A) 1.4.09

Hednesford's play-off chances were given a boost this afternoon, as they came out of a hugely entertaining and controversial encounter at Nethermoor with three points, their first-ever win over Guiseley in seven attempts

 

Manager Dean Edwards, who had been busy chopping and changing his squad in the week made a number of changes, but the side still took a familiar look. Sean Platt returned in place of the suspended Ben Bailey, with Anthony Maguire shunted back over to the left-hand side of defence. Mark Briggs' sudden exit from the club on Thursday meant a recall for Elliott Durrell whilst joint top scorer Tyrone Barnett was available again after suspension - he slotted back into the side after on-loan Matt Lewis returned to parent club AFC Telford United. On the bench, two new faces in the form of Matthew West and former Shrewsbury Town youngster Jan Coulston appeared

Guiseley had already played three games already this week, beating both Leigh Genesis and Eastwood Town before drawing 1-1 against Ilkeston Town to move to within two points of the Pitmen in eighth place in the table. Steve Kittrick resisted the temptation to rotate his squad and stuck with the same XI that had started against Ilson as he looked to pick up more crucial points in their quest to break into the top five

Despite their fixture pile-up in the past week, Guiseley made the better start as they looked for the crucial three points to lift them to the fringes of the play-off places. James Hanson, a scourge of previous Hednesford defences, looked sharp as his early turn and shot sailed wide of goal

The Pitmen got the ball down and started to play their passing game after ten minutes, but Durrell's fine-looking through ball was cut out by a Guiseley defender as he attempted to find the onrushing Ross Dyer, who had made a move away from his marker

Edwards was forced into a change on eleven minutes with Maguire withdrawn due to an injury to his nose. Luke Edwards was introduced on the left-hand side to give them width, with Tom Marshall assuming responsibilities at left-back

The hosts made light of their busy schedule and took the lead midway through the half. Despite having ample opportunity to clear the ball, Hednesford's defence failed to clear the danger and allowed Guiseley new boy James Walshaw to cut in from the left and fire in a shot that Stuart Brock did well to save. However, the ball ran loose, and Hanson was on hand to gleefully tap home the rebound

Hednesford were shaken into action with Ross Draper giving one of his typically all-action performances in the centre of midfield. His commitment was being matched by Decio Gomes, who was giving Hanson little room to move

The Pitmen grew in confidence with Edwards charging up the left, and grabbed a priceless equaliser five minutes before half-time. Dyer, the in-form of all three strikers, grabbed his twenty-first goal of the season, collecting the ball just inside the area before controlling it with his chest and firing past Piotr Skiba in the Guiseley goal, beating him at his near post with a low drive

With a strong wind blowing across the pitch, added to Guiseley's heavy schedule in the previous week, you got a sense that there may be more here for the taking than just a point for the Pitmen, who played some good football at the start of the second period. Dyer could have added to his tally with a header from a Sam Hall cross on fifty-eight minutes, but Dave Merris was alert to head the ball off the line and away for a corner as it looped towards goal

The game was starting to flow from end to end, with the hosts nearly regaining the lead eight minutes later. Brock made a wonderful double save to deny Simeon Bambrook and Adam Muller, both from close range, with Muller holding his head in despair as it looked easier to score from the position he had got himself into

The game exploded into life as it entered the final twenty minutes. On seventy-one minutes, the game turned on its head, when Draper made a run behind the Guiseley defence. Picked out by Durrell, he ran into the area unchallenged, before taking the ball around Skiba. As he shaped to shoot, Skiba brought him down, leaving the referee with little choice but to send Skiba off and give the Pitmen a penalty - it was one of very few decisions the officials got right all game. On came Aaron Ratchford, the substitute keeper for the home side, who was promptly booked for standing behind his goal line before the penalty was taken. Dyer fired past the rookie to give the away side a precious lead

Guiseley's assistant manager Wayne Benn was sent from the dugout for protesting too vehemently a couple of minutes later, as his constant badgering of the assistant on the bench side saw the referee dismiss him

The final ten minutes saw the game stretched, as Guiseley attempted to rescue a point. They got a lifeline with six minutes left. What looked an untidy but fair challenge on Walshaw by Draper just inside the area was deemed enough for the referee to give a penalty kick, thus levelling matters from the spot. Anthony Lloyd stepped up, but his kick lacked power or direction, and Brock saved well to his left low down

Clearly lifted by this stroke of luck, the Pitmen made their way back down the other end, taking advantage of Guiseley's commitment to attack. In the final minute of the game, Durrell burst from midfield to collect a through ball, before taking it around the onrushing Ratchford. The substitute keeper brought him down in much the same manner as Skiba did on Draper, leaving the referee once again with no other option but to send the keeper off - much to the disgust of the home supporters. Dyer was given a chance to finish on a hat-trick with midfielder David Briggs taking over in goal but crashed his penalty kick off the bar

In the five minutes of added time Gomes came into his own, getting on the end of everything Guiseley threw into the box, with Danny Harvey ably assisting with some hefty punts out of the area

Three points lift the Pitmen back into seventh place, and with a game in hand on the others above them, they could move into fourth place with a win at struggling Whitby Town on Tuesday night, with other results going their way in today's games

Guiseley: Skiba  (71), Lloyd, Fitzgerald (Cotterill 84), Briggs, Ellis ©, Crossley, Muller, Merris, Bambrook (Ratchbrook   (90)), Walshaw (Newton 83), Hanson      Subs Unused: Thompson, Davey

Hednesford Town: Brock, Platt, Maguire (Edwards 11), Gomes, Harvey, Marshall, Hall, Durrell, Barnett, Dyer, Draper ©        Subs Unused: West, Coulston, Gill

Images © copyright Pitmenweb