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UniBond Northern Premier League

Hednesford Town

May (67), Sheppard (68)


Tuck (4), (27), (71), Dunne (42), Hanson (53)

(0) 2

(3) 5



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Ross Dyer


Leek Town (A) 22.3.08

Will the real Hednesford Town please stand up? The Pitmen's 2007-2008 season was summed up perfectly in seventy-two hours tonight, as their excellent win over Gateshead on Saturday is followed up with a shocking defensive display against free-scoring Guiseley tonight at Keys Park


Manager Phil Starbuck stuck with the same team as Saturday, with Paul Evans looking to sign off on his two-game spell back at Keys Park before returning to Causeway United with another fine display to go with his man of the match performance from Saturday

Play-off chasing Guiseley arrived at Keys Park following an impressive 1-1 draw at home with league leaders Witton Albion on Saturday to keep pace with the top five in the table. Manager Steve Kittrick stuck with his XI for tonight's game as he looked to continue their recent fine form of only one defeat in their last seven games

Bradford (Park Avenue) loanee Lee Tuck almost gave the away side a flying start to the game in just the second minute as he beat Evans to a cross from Doncaster Rovers loanee Matt Noble but headed narrowly over the crossbar

Tuck was not to be denied however and grabbed Guiseley's first goal of the evening just two minutes later; Hednesford skipper Tom Marshall got caught ball-watching whilst tracking a long ball over the top, allowing Tuck to nip in behind him and seize upon the pass from Danny Ellis before firing past Evans from ten yards out

Evans was tested by Tuck again five minutes later as Guiseley continued to dominate the game, making a fine parry to his right to turn the striker's goalbound shot away for a Lions corner

A long ball forwards from Guiseley goalkeeper Piotr Skiba was allowed to fall at the feet of James Hanson on eleven minutes as the Pitmen once again found themselves at sixes and sevens at the back. Fortunately, Hanson snatched at his shot and pulled it well wide of Evans's goal


Fit-again Reece Styche was showing signs of his exciting potential as he continued to work his way back to full fitness as he pushed the Guiseley defence with his work rate and running. A powerfully struck shot from the teenager in the fifteenth minute from a Ross Dyer cross was just wide of goal however

The Pitmen started to drew confidence after their shaky opening quarter of the game and Mario Pedro should have done much better with an effort on twenty-one minutes that h lifted over the crossbar from just inside the Guiseley penalty area


A Chad Sheppard free-kick was not dealt with particularly well by Skiba on twenty-five minutes as he pushed the shot straight the path of the incoming Pedro. The winger's rebounded shot from close-range beat Skiba but clipped the outside of the post. Close from the hosts 

Marshall, one of the Pitmen's more experienced and consistent performers this term, was having a real nightmare of an evening and made another mistake that led to the away side's second goal two minutes later. His lazy, misplaced pass out of defence was picked up by Damien Dunne, who in turn played in Tuck, who once again beat an exposed Evans unchallenged to make it 2-0

The hosts were shocked into action with their supporters venting their anger at the under-performing defence and Starbuck. A flurry of set-pieces from both Pedro and Sheppard were well dealt with by the visitors' defence, with Ellis particularly dominant in the air against the giant Rory May

 The closest the Pitmen came to reducing the deficit came through top scorer Ross Dyer on thirty-three minutes, as his header towards goal from a Sheppard cross was somehow scrambled off the line by Nathan Hay

Tuck wasted a good chance to grab a hat-trick three minutes later as he was afforded time and space to pick up a pass from Jonathan Fernandez but firing well over the crossbar

Noble's tricky play down the wing saw him glide past Ross Adams and pull the ball back from the byeline and into the path of Hanson on forty minutes, only for a combination of Evans and Ben Brown to deny the striker's clear shot at goal at the near post


However, Dunne put Guiseley out of sight three minutes before half-time, as the full-back made a late run in behind the static Hednesford defence once again and firing past Evans from a tight angle. Absolutely shocking defending once again from the hosts

Starbuck will have been absolutely raging at his team's Jekyll and Hyde approach to the game, having looking stoic and organised against Gateshead just three days earlier but in complete disarray at the back tonight. His half-time rollicking appeared to have an effect on the players, who came back out early and showed some real purpose at the start of the second half


Wayne Dyer was narrowly off target for the hosts on forty-eight minutes with a powerful shot that had Skiba scrambling across his goal to see the ball past the post 


Dyer's midfield partner Sheppard then supplied Pedro with another chance three minutes later as his cross found the winger at the far post, only for Pedro to but he hit the post for a second time with a downward header that Ross Dyer tried to follow into the net but missed

The old-fashioned away side counter-attack had served Guiseley well all game, and they once again repeated the trick on fifty-three minutes. Hanson was the beneficiary this time, timing his run well to run in behind the Hednesford defence and latch on to a fine pass from skipper Richard Dunning to finish well past a horribly exposed Evans

The Pitmen did continue to plug away despite the 4-0 scoreline playing and continued to create chances; Pedro, having a decent game despite others around him having a stinker, forcing Skiba into a smart save on fifty-six minutes after turning well on the edge of the penalty area and beating Hay

Skiba was equal to an effort from Ross Dyer on the hour mark as the youngster skipped past two challenges and unleashed a low shot from twenty yards out

The goal that the Pitmen had been searching for finally came on sixty-seven minutes, albeit a very scrappy one. A Pedro corner caused chaos in the Guiseley six-yard box, with Skiba failing to deal with the ball effectively. It eventually dropped at the feet of Rory May, who appeared to get the final touch and bundle the ball over the line from a matter of inches

A minute later, the Pitmen were looking at a comeback as they grabbed a second goal in quick succession. A ball up to May saw the big man lay the ball off to the onrushing Sheppard, who fired past Skiba from twelve yards out to further reduce arrears with a fine low strike

Any hope or possibility of a comeback from here were dashed however just three minutes later when Guiseley grabbed their fifth goal of the evening. The hapless Marshall was involved again as he managed to get back to stop Hanson scoring an identical goal to the one he scored earlier with the striker racing on to a through ball from Fernandez. However, Marshall's challenge was in vain as the rebound fell nicely to Tuck, who scored his hat-trick goal with a well-placed finish from twelve yards out

The Pitmen were left shell-shocked and closed ranks in a bid to stop any further embarrassment in front of their own supporters. This saw Guiseley limited to hopeful long-range efforts and corner kicks as the goals dried up at both ends of the pitch


May went on a mazy run through the Guiseley defence on seventy-nine minutes but produced a tired-looking shot that was easily fielded by Skiba down to his right-hand side 


For the visitors, Tuck went close to grabbing his fourth goal of the evening on eighty-four minutes, but Evans denied him with a smart save after the ben Brown had been given the slip by the livewire striker

For the neutral, it had been a highly entertaining encounter but yet another example of the Pitmen's inabilities to produce any run of consistency and also defend against sharp, clever forward lines. The players were booed off by the disgruntled supporters who had stuck out the full ninety minutes and will now look to pick themselves up when they visit Staffordshire neighbours Leek Town on Saturday

Hednesford Town: Evans, Adams, McDonald, Sheppard, Marshall ©, B. Brown, R. Dyer, W. Dyer, May, Styche, Pedro     Subs Unused: Nagington, Maguire, Fussell

Guiseley: Skiba, Hay, Camfield, Dunne (Wilford 75), Ellis, Sturdy, Fernandez, Dunning © (Agus 60), Hanson, Tuck, Noble       Sub Unused: Holden

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