21.8.2010

Zamaretto Southern Premier League

Hemel Hempstead Town

Hednesford Town

Carter (59)

(0) 0

(0) 1

Attendance

MoTM

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Next Match

227

Scott Fuller

L W W

Cambridge City (H) 24.8.10

The Pitmen's form continues to improve, as Bernard McNally's side chalk up a second successive win on the road, this time at previously unbeaten Hemel Hempstead Town

Boosted by the fine victory at Banbury United in midweek, McNally decided to name the same XI ahead of this game. Former Walsall trainee Tom Overfield was the only change amongst the substitutes, replacing former Bromsgrove man Odane Barnes

Hemel had finished the previous season just avoiding relegation to step four and were looking for a better campaign at Vauxhall Road in 2010-2011; two wins out of two had put the Tudors second in the league table going into this afternoon's round of fixtures after fine wins over Swindon Supermarine and Brackley Town. With this fine form in mind, Hemel manager Colin Payne stuck with the same XI that had started both games as he looked for a hat-trick of league wins

 After losing the toss, the Pitmen started the game with a very strong wind at their backs. They made a breezy start, playing some good passing football as they looked to take advantage of their midweek win. Alfie Carter was first to threaten, making a great run to get on the end of a Sean Platt ball but was pulled up by an offside flag before he could take advantage

In a first half dominated by the two defences, chances were few and far between. Mark Bellingham went close for the Pitmen on thirteen minutes, hitting a low shot from twenty yards out that was well fielded by Hemel keeper Michael McEntegart

Bellingham was again involved two minutes later, getting in front of his marker as he looked to get on the end of Carter's ball, but just failed to get his foot on the ball as it flashed across goal

The hosts were struggling to break down a well-marshalled Hednesford defence, with Aston Goss's deep cross well dealt with by Cheyenne Dunkley as he looked to find two Hemel players lurking at the back post midway through the first half

Indeed, Dunkley and fellow centre back Scott Fuller were in commanding form, keeping the Hemel attack quiet with was at times an imperious display, especially from find of the summer Fuller. This was all the more impressive considering the blistering start to the season Hemel had made to the new season with their two wins already this campaign

Hemel did manage to find the net on the half-hour mark, with Dennis Fenemore putting the ball into the net. However, an early offside flag had pulled the striker up as he raced through

The closest Hednesford came to opening the scoring before the break was via Dave Bridgwater, the two-goal hero from Tuesday night. Yet again, it came from a set-piece, with the midfielder attempting another curling free-kick that came off the wall and fell kindly to Aaron Gibson, who spooned the ball over the bar with a poorly struck effort

McNally's half time rallying call seemed to left the visitors, as they emerged much the more threatening going forward. Ben Bailey went close with a header just a minute after the restart, rising highest to head Bridgwater's free-kick narrowly over the bar

Platt was next to test Hemel's defence, making a move forward down the right before hitting a rising shot that just cleared McEntegart's crossbar on fifty-five minutes as the Pitmen pressed

Their pressure finally told four minutes later, as Carter grabbed his second goal of the week to put the away side ahead. Bailey was involved again, as the defender made a move forward to collect the ball from Bridgwater. Bailey took a gamble, hitting a sweet shot from fully thirty yards out that came crashing off the crossbar. Carter was onto the rebound in a flash, beating McEntegart to the ball and sliding it into the net

The Pitmen were in the ascendancy, looking to grab a killer second goal to seal the win. Jay Denny forced McEntegart into a world-class save on sixty-three minutes, with the Hemel keeper making a full-length stop to deny Denny a goal

Carter's lack of match practice started to catch up with him, and with fifteen minutes remaining was replaced by Chris Clements. This saw a change in formation, with Bellingham playing up front on his own with Clements playing just behind him

Hemel's search for an equaliser saw them rarely threaten in the final quarter, with Fenemore heading wide and Goss sending over three dangerous-looking crosses that were all fielded well by Dan Crane in the Hednesford goal

Clements himself was replaced in the final minute of the game after coming off worse in a fifty/fifty challenge in midfield; youngster Jamey Osborne came on for the final minutes

So, after a stuttering start against Chippenham last Saturday, two away wins have put the Pitmen back on track in the Zamaretto Premier League The visit of a talented Cambridge City side on Tuesday night will prove a stern test for McNally's troops, but they can be confident of returning to Keys Park in better form than when they left it last weekend

Hemel Hempstead Town: Mike McEntegart, Wharton, Parsons, Thomas, Butler ©, Matt McEntegart, May, Wilson, Fenemore (Wyllie 70), Lafayette, (Blake 80), Goss (Webb 75)    Subs Unused:  Porter, French

Hednesford Town: Crane, Bailey, Francis, Dunkley, Fuller, Denny, Platt ©, Bridgwater, Bellingham, Carter (Clements 74 (Osborne 89)), Gibson    Subs Unused: Keenan, Overfield, Brock

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