Pre-Season Friendly

Heath Hayes

Hednesford Town

Truslove (10), (14), (30), O'Hanlon (38), Abadaki (43), K. Wells (57), (83), Hurst (67)

(0) 0


(5) 8



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Ben O'Hanlon



Wolves (H) 10.7.19

The Pitmen get their pre-season campaign off to a flying start this afternoon, hammering near-neighbours Heath Hayes with an eight-goal display at the Coppice Ground

Manager Gary Hayward had been busy re-shaping his squad in the close season, handing four new faces a debut for today's game; Louis Ezewele, Kieran Morris, Kristian Scott and Liam Truslove were all named in the starting line-up, alongside the returning pair of James Hurst and Osebi Abadaki after they had joined the club for a second spell. Danny Glover, Daniel Platt and Tom Elliott were all missing for this afternoon's game, linking up with the club later on in the pre-season campaign

The Pitmen made a confident start to the game, looking to get off to a positive start in pre-season. A mistake at the back for the hosts in the fourth minute almost let Kieran Wells in n goal, only for a deflected clearance from the keeper to cannon back off the Hednesford striker and drift narrowly wide of goal

Abadaki had made a fine start to the game, goading the Heath Hayes full-backs with his pace and dribbling. A superb run down the right wing saw him create the opening goal for the Pitmen in the tenth minute as he ghosted past two challenges before squaring the ball to Truslove, who side footed home from close range

Truslove made it a quick fire brace for himself and the Pitmen four minutes later, as a neat spell of play just outside the Heath Hayes penalty area saw Scott feed the ball into the feet of the attacking midfielder. His quick turn on the edge of the penalty area created enough time and space for Truslove to drive the ball into the far corner of the net to make it 2-0

Abadaki tested the reflexes of the Heath Hayes keeper on twenty minutes, cutting inside from the left-wing after Kieran Wells had fed him, drilling in a shot across the face of the home side's goal that required a fingertip save to deny Abadaki a goal

Jose Veiga - still pulling his gloves on for the Pitmen at 43 years-old - made a smart smothering save three minutes later to deny Heath Hayes a path back into the game, before the Pitmen struck a third goal on the half-hour mark. Poor defending from the home side gifted the ball to the Pitmen inside their own penalty area, allowing Kieran Wells a chance to fire a shot at goal. His shot was well saved but was pushed back into the path of Wells, who squared the ball into the path of Truslove to complete a first-half hat-trick with another side-footed finish from close-range

Both full-backs were impressing with their willingness to get forwards at every opportunity, with the three-man defence of Ben Bailey, Morris and Ezewle soaking up any pockets of pressure from the Heath Hayes attack to allow Ben O'Hanlon and Hurst to attack at will. The pair linked up to score Hednesford's fourth goal of the afternoon on thirty-eight minutes, with Hurst's powerful run and cross side-footed home by O'Hanlon, timing his run into the Heath Hayes box to perfection

The Pitmen were still in the mood for goals, and scored a fifth with just a couple of minutes left in the first-half; Morris's long clearance found Abadaki just inside the Heath Hayes half, with the winger afforded too much time and space to take the ball into the penalty area before finishing low into the far corner of the net

Half-time saw Hayward make a raft of changes to his side with the game essentially already won, with Charlie Gatter, Sam Griffiths, Evans, Matt Curley and Brad Wells coming on in place of Ezewele, Morris, Scott, Jack Hallahan and Abadaki respectively

O'Hanlon looked to add to his first-half goal early on in the second half, as confusion in the Heath Hayes defence saw O'Hanlon head towards goal, only for the ball to be scrambled away from the net. Kieran Wells attempted to rescue the situation with a lob that was punched behind for a Hednesford corner

Veiga made a fine-one handed stop to keep his clean sheet intact for the Pitmen on fifty-three minutes, before Brad Wells headed wide from a deep Griffiths cross a minute later

The Wells brothers linked up to create another great chance two minutes later, as cross from Griffiths was played across the face of goal by Kieran towards Brad. However, Brad was caught on his heels and just failed to turn the loose ball into the net at the far post

Kieran Wells' persistence finally got him on the scoresheet on fifty-seven minutes, as Brad Wells seized upon a loose ball and ran at the Heath Hayes defence. The ball ran into the path of the other Wells, whose initial shot was well saved; however, the striker had the foresight of mind to follow the ball in and was rewarded with a simple tap-in as the rebound landed kindly at his feet once more for him to make it 6-0

The pressure on the Heath Hayes goal was incessant, as the Pitmen continually looked to punish any loose passes from the hosts as their fitness started to tell going into the final half hour of the game. Hurst was next to get himself onto the scoresheet on sixty-seven minutes, firing home a fine goal from the edge of the Heath Hayes penalty area with a powerfully struck low drive that found the far corner of the net

Hayward and new assistant manager Mark Ward decided to make a further change to the side following the side's seventh goal, bringing on youngster Ollie Waddison in place of Truslove

Kieran Wells played brother Brad in on goal once more on seventy-four minutes, but another close-range stop from the Heath Hayes keeper denied the substitute a first goal of the season at the near post

Waddison was handed a great chance to claim a debut goal for the Pitmen two minutes later as a poor kick out from the Heath Hayes keeper fell straight at the feet of the young striker. However, Waddison lacked composure as he ran at goal and sliced his shot well wide of the target

The scoring was complete with seven minutes remaining, as O'Hanlon's superb ball played Kieran Wells in behind the Heath Hayes defence. The striker needed no second invitation and confidently fired home from fifteen yards out the make it 8-0

There was time for Kieran Wells to scuff a great chance for a hat-trick, running through on goal and having his initial shot saved, only for the burly striker to lift his rebounded effort over the crossbar from a tight angle

A satisfying start to the pre-season schedule then for the Pitmen, who showed plenty of togetherness and character against a limited and mistake-riddled Heath Hayes side. With three key players still to come into the side, all of the signs are positive that the Pitmen are on a steady footing going into this pre-season programme. A much sterner test follows on Wednesday night, when a Wolverhampton Wanderers XI visits the PRG Stadium @ Keys Park in the first of five successive home matches for Hayward's troops


Hednesford Town: Veiga, Hurst, O'Hanlon, Bailey ©, Ezewele (Gatter 45), Morris (Griffiths 45), Scott (Evans 45), Hallahan (Curley 45), K. Wells, Truslove (Waddison 67), Abadaki (B. Wells 45)      Subs Unused: None

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