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Zamaretto Southern Premier League


Lycett (80)

Hednesford Town

Dunkley (4), (15), Dyer (90)

(0) 1

(2) 3



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Cheyenne Dunkley


Hemel Hempstead Town (H) 13.3.10

Hednesford's astonishing winning run continues this evening, as the Pitmen chalk up their third win in succession over a side in the top four of the table, this time completing the double over Leamington at the New Windmill Ground

With confidence sky-high after recent performances, manager Bernard McNally's team selections you would think are pretty easy to make, with McNally restoring Ross Dyer to the starting line-up ahead of Dorryll Proffitt - the only change to the side that beat second-placed Brackley Town on Saturday

Paul Holleran's Brakes side had beaten a poor Bedford Town side 2-0 on Saturday to move back into the top four in the league table once more. Holleran made one change to his side for tonight's game at full-back as Michael Touhy replaced James Husband. The prolific Mark Bellingham narrowly missed out on selection after failing a late fitness test as he looked to return to action after injury

The confidence exuded by the Hednesford players was evident from the off, with the Pitmen storming into a fourth-minute lead as they pushed the Brakes back into their own penalty area. Elliott Durrell's wicked free-kick was curled in towards the far post, where Liam Francis met it with his head. Leicester loanee keeper Carl Pentney managed to get something on the ball to stop Francis from scoring from point-blank range, but only succeeded in parrying the ball into the path of the onrushing Cheyenne Dunkley, who had the easy task of tapping the ball into the empty net

Pentney's night was to get a hell of a lot worse, as he was treated for an injury after kicking the ball away, with the young stopper looking uneasy on his feet after the physio had dealt with him

The Pitmen continued their assault on the Leamington goal, as they looked to chalk up a third win of the season over the Brakes in all competitions. On nine minutes, Tyrone Barnett tried an overhead kick that was pulled up by an offside flag, followed a minute later by Josh Craddock's powerful long-range volley that just cleared the crossbar

With Leamington reeling, the away side took further advantage with a second goal on fifteen minutes. Once again, it was Durrell who was the orchestrator, whipping in another one of his trademark free-kicks that Dunkley attacked, heading beyond Pentney from six yards out

The shell-shocked hosts were struggling to even get out of their own half in the first quarter, such was Hednesford's dominance. Another raking ball from Durrell set Barnett off chasing through on twenty minutes, with the Hednesford striker going in with Pentney in a challenge that saw the Leamington keeper go down once again. On closer inspection, Barnett had played the ball off the keeper as they both went into the tackle, although the striker was booked for having his foot raised


Pentney continued to look uneasy on his feet after lengthy further treatment, with Durrell gleefully firing in a number of free-kicks to test the youngster's resolve

Sean Platt was booked just before the half time whistle for a late tackle on Michael Tuohy, who was one of three Leamington players who was substituted during the game due to injury, much to the fury of the home fans, who took exception to the Pitmen's physical style

The delighted Hednesford travelling contingent had enjoyed a superb first-half performance by their side, but there was an expectancy that the hosts would come out strongly in search of a crucial goal to get themselves back into the game

And so it proved, as Leamington forced the Pitmen back into their own half just after the break, much as Hednesford had done to them in the first period. Former Hednesford loanee Matt Lewis was first to fire a warning shot across the Hednesford bows, hitting a close-range volley that was deflected over after he had got on the end of a throw from another former Hednesford player, Scott Lycett

Stuart Herlihy was presented with a great chance to reduce arrears on forty-eight minutes, heading straight at Brock after getting up above Decio Gomes to meet a cross from the right 

Pentney's nightmare evening was over a minute later, as he raced out to the edge of his area to meet Ross Dyer, who was chasing down a long ball over the top. Pentney collapsed in a heap as he cleared the ball, despite appearing to miss Dyer completely. After a number of minutes of treatment, Pentney was stretchered off with what turned out to be a concussion and was taken away from the ground in an ambulance

With no substitute keeper on the bench, Holleran had to juggle his team, putting on yet another ex-Pitmen in the form of Luke Corbett and making the difficult call of putting Lewis in goal to replace Pentney

Leamington's furious supporters clearly blamed the Hednesford players for Pentney's injury, booing every play the Pitmen had from here on in

Despite this blow, Leamington continued to have the better of the play, with Decio Gomes, Ben Bailey and Francis working overtime as they looked to protect the Pitmen's lead. James McPike thought he had got a goal back for the hosts on seventy minutes, but his goal was ruled out after the referee had spotted a handball in the build-up

Substitute James Husband went close to getting Leamington back into the game four minutes later, with his corner drifting towards goal and hitting the top of the crossbar as Stuart Brock watched it over

Leamington's pressure finally told with ten minutes to go, with Lycett setting up an exciting finale with a fine strike. Husband swung in a corner kick that fell to Lycett, who lashed home a shot from the edge of the area through a crowd of players

With the Leamington supporters right behind their team, the home side put severe pressure on the Pitmen in the final minutes. Gomes almost blotted his copybook with a rare mistake with five minutes remaining as he almost gifted the ball to Peter Faulds before making a last-ditch tackle

As the game entered stoppage time, Leamington committed men forward in a last attempt to grab an equaliser. This left a gap at the back, which Durrell exploited to seal the game for the Pitmen. The youngster broke away from Leamington on the halfway line, before laying the ball into the path of Dyer, who was left to sidefoot the ball past Lewis to seal another fantastic win

And so the streak continues, as McNally's men move within seven points of the play-offs. There's no doubt that it's still a fanciful suggestion, but on current form, there's no better team in the chasing pack than Hednesford capable of forcing their way into the reckoning. Next up - struggling Hemel Hempstead Town at Keys Park this coming Saturday

Leamington: Pentney (Corbett 50), Lycett, Tuohy (Husband 60), Sanders ©, Knight, Faulds, Herhily, McPike, Jackson, Lewis, Batchelor (Murphy 72)     Subs Unused: Davies, Beale

Hednesford Town: Brock, Platt © , Martin, Bailey, Francis, Gomes, Durrell, Craddock, Barnett , Dyer, Dunkley         Subs Unused: Proffitt, Chapman, Osborne, Morton, Flynn

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