Skrill North


Hednesford Town

Durrell (15) (penalty)

(0) 0

(1) 1



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John Disney


Guiseley (A) 21.9.13

The Pitmen returned to the top of the Skrill North table this evening having been pushed to the limit by a spirited Histon side that played the majority of the game with ten men at the Glassworld Stadium

Following Saturday's fine win over Vauxhall Motors, Hednesford manager Rob Smith was able to name an unchanged side for the evening's game. Darren Campion, Neil Harvey and Aaron Rey were all passed fit, although Francino Francis failed to recover from a bad back in time to return to the starting XI. Wayne Riley missed out again with a groin strain

Histon had made a good start to the current campaign, having won all three of their previous home games in Skrill North. Despite being some tipsters' favourites for the drop, the Cambridgeshire club sat in seventh place at the start of play

Elliott Durrell's goalscoring form this season has caught the eye in various quarters, and it was the midfielder who was first to try his luck in the second minute of the game, firing a long-range free-kick high over the bar and out of the ground

Histon failed to effectively deal with an Aaron Rey run and cross on ten minutes, allowing the ball to fall to Jamey Osborne. However, before the midfielder could hit a shot, the bouncing ball was hacked away from goal by the hosts

The game came alive in the fifteenth minute of the game, as Hednesford were awarded a penalty following a scramble in the Histon area. Elliott Durrell's corner was cleared only as far as Kris Taylor, whose low drive was cleared off the line by Harry O'Malley. The ball fell to Rey, whose rebound shot was blocked by O'Malley again, but this time using his arm to deflect the ball away from goal. The referee was quick to award the Pitmen a penalty kick and had no option but to dismiss O'Malley for handball on the line. Durrell stepped up and coolly rolled his spot-kick past Histon loan keeper Alex Lynch for his eleventh goal of the season

The Pitmen looked to use their numerical advantage to their benefit as they enjoyed good possession in the next ten minutes; Harvey somehow failed to double Hednesford's lead midway through the half, getting on the end of Rey's cross but diverting his effort the wrong side of the post from six yards out

Osborne came off worst in a 50-50 challenge with Histon's Charlie Day on the twenty-five minutes, leaving the Pitmen's playmaker requiring lengthy treatment after sliding into a tackle on the midfielder

A succession of Histon corners towards the end of the half failed to garner any real chances for the ten men, as Ben Bailey and new defensive partner Matt Regan picked up where they left off on Saturday by forming a solid defensive wall

Regan incurred the wrath of the referee just before half time, following Taylor into the book for needlessly kicking the ball away on forty-three minutes

Half time saw the Pitmen make a tactical substitution as striker Rey was replaced by winger Nathan Woolfe, leaving Harvey to play up front on his own

Histon made light of their disadvantage early on the second half, forcing the Pitmen onto the back foot. Neat build-up play down the right on forty-eight minutes saw the ball played into the feet of Kaine Sheppard, whose turn and shot on the edge of the area beat Crane but cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and back out

Another neat move, this time down the Histon left, saw Day send over a deep cross into the path of Nathan Hicks, who tried to turn the ball home back across goal. However, his goalbound effort was headed clear by Dave MacPherson as he retreated into his own six-yard box

From the resultant corner, Darren Campion had to be on hand to clear Omar Beckles' effort off the line, with Remy Clerima heading the rebound high over the crossbar

A rare foray into the Histon half by the Pitmen saw Campion go close to making it 2-0 on the hour mark, linking up well with Osborne on the left before cutting inside and firing low towards goal. Lynch did well to get down and turn the shot away from goal with his leg

Histon somehow failed to level matters on sixty-eight minutes, with John Disney denying Sheppard an equaliser with an incredible goal-line block. A rare mistake from Crane saw him fumble a loose ball in the six-yard box, with Sheppard seizing upon it as Crane looked to recover the ball. Sheppard's goalbound sidefooted effort was somehow kept out by the heel of Disney, who managed to get back on his line to stop the ball from rolling into the corner of the net

Clearly needing fresh inspiration to stop the chances totting up for Histon,  Smith made a further change on sixty-nine minutes, bringing on the fresh legs of Alex Melbourne in place of MacPherson

Histon's Michael Built went close to a leveller without really knowing much about it on seventy minutes, as a long-range effort from Hicks took a wicked deflection off Built and missed the target by a foot or so

The Pitmen made their final change of the evening on seventy-five minutes, with youngster Charlie Anagho-Ntamark coming on in place of Neil Harvey up front

As the game entered the final ten minutes Day fired just over the bar with a long-range effort for Histon, closely followed by a snapshot from Durrell as the Pitmen countered quickly

A towering header from Sheppard with five minutes left was to prove Histon's final opportunity of the game, heading wide of Crane's right-hand post following a free-kick

It was Ntamark who was to have the last opportunity of the game in added time, as a quick break from Durrell saw Ntamark break clear and fire straight at Lynch when he probably should have scored from twelve yards out

Once again, the Pitmen's togetherness, spirit and individual quality came to the fore to clinch yet another hard-fought victory on the road. Smith's team move back to the Skrill North summit courtesy of other results going their way this evening and move on to Saturday's trip to Guiseley with back-to-back wins

Histon: Lynch, O’Malley  (15), Grant, Roberts (Relizani 85), Clerima, Beckles, Built (Hoban 69), Hicks, Sheppard, Taaffe, Day     Subs Unused: Binns, Libertucci, McLaughlin

Hednesford Town: Crane, Disney, Campion ©, Bailey, Regan , MacPherson (Melbourne 69), Osborne, Durrell, Harvey (Anagho-Ntamark 75), Rey (Woolfe 45), Taylor       Subs Unused: Francis, Thompson-Brown