Zamaretto Southern Premier League

Hednesford Town

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Chris Clements


Truro City (A) 4.9.10

Hednesford finally ended their Keys Park hoodoo - at least partially anyway - with a hard-fought Bank Holiday Monday clash against Leamington this afternoon 

Despite a dominant win over Didcot two days earlier, manager Bernard McNally declined to stick with the winning formula, opting instead to bring defender Jimmy Turner back into the side after injury - he replaced youngster Cheyenne Dunkley, who was dropped to the bench. Elliott Durrell was deemed fit enough to make the substitute's bench

With the game only minutes old, a long stoppage ensued after Leamington duo Lee Downes and Guy Sanders ran into each other, leaving Sanders eventually leaving on a stretcher after coming off worst in the challenge

This failed to affect Leamington's flow, as they started the game brightly. On twelve minutes, former Stafford man Craig Wilding went closest to scoring in the early stages for the Brakes, hitting a firm shot across goal that Dan Crane turned away smartly for a corner kick

From the resultant corner, Peter Faulds floated the ball in, finding former Hednesford loanee Luke Corbett lurking at the back post - he did the rest, finishing well unmarked from three yards out

Shaken into action, Hednesford launched an attack from the kick-off. Jamey Osborne's ball into Kyle Patterson saw the new boy fire over the crossbar with a rushed effort from twenty yards out

Patterson was working hard, chasing down Leamington's defenders and creating a chance for Bellingham on twenty minutes. After charging down a Scott Lycett clearance, he played in former Leamington striker Bellingham, who wanted far too much time on the ball - this allowed Leamington substitute Michael Tuohy to get back and deny him with a block

Jay Denny was next to register a shot for the Pitmen, picking up an Osborne pass on the edge of the area before dispatching a shot that flew over the crossbar

Osbourne was enjoying his home debut for the Pitmen, creating space with his mazy runs. Another jinking run inside from the left-wing saw him beat three Leamington players, but the finish failed to match the run as he fired high over the crossbar

After weathering a mini-storm from the Pitmen, Leamington responded with a couple of chances of their own. On the half-hour mark, Corbett was first, beating his marker before firing in a low shot that Crane turned away for a corner kick

This was swiftly followed by a Liam Daly free-kick that clipped off the Pitmen's defensive wall and flew just wide of goal, earning Leamington a corner kick

As half time approached, Bellingham saw a great chance come and go as he looked for that magical first goal. A long, raking ball from Liam Francis saw Bellingham race onto it in a flash, turning Lycett before firing just inches wide of Leamington keeper Tony Breeden's far post

The final act of the half saw the tricky Osborne dart down the line and send over a teasing cross that none of the onrushing Hednesford players could take advantage of

Breeden was quick off his line to deny Patterson two minutes after the restart, racing off his line to smother the ball at the feet of the former LA Galaxy man after Clements had played the ball through the Leamington backline

Durrell was given his introduction just before the hour mark, replacing the out-of-sorts Carter out on the left-wing. His ability and urgency in the final quarter was a major influence on the Pitmen's comeback in the game

Corbett was still a threat to the Pitmen's defence, and a smart shot on sixty minutes was brilliantly turned away by Crane for a corner

Crane could get nowhere near Corbett's next effort a few minutes later, as the former Cheltenham youngster hit an unstoppable volley from long range that clattered the woodwork and came back out into play

Hednesford were looking to the tricky trio of Clements, Osborne and Durrell for inspiration and another tricky run from Durrell playing in Bellingham fifteen minutes from time. He was brought down by Tuohy on the edge of the area to earn a free-kick, which he took himself. After hitting the wall with his initial effort, Bellingham found Patterson, who fired narrowly wide of goal

Another free-kick from a similar position finally got the Pitmen onto level terms three minutes later; Durrell took on the responsibility, rifling a shot in that came back off the wall. Clements was lurking on the edge of the area, and his powerful goalbound shot was deflected off Daly and past Breeden to give the Pitmen a crucial equaliser

Despite having the boost of a goal, Hednesford very nearly allowed their good work to unravel as Leamington almost seized the lead again six minutes later. Scott Fuller was turned by Wilding, who squared the ball to Corbett. From ten yards out, Corbett sidefooted the ball towards goal, only to be denied by a brilliant last-ditch clearance by Jimmy Turner, who had had a torrid afternoon at the hands of the big striker

Brakes substitute Chris Murphy could have won it for the away side in added time, but a last-gasp challenge by Fuller did enough to put him off his stride after being played in by Corbett

An entertaining second half for the healthy 500 plus crowd to witness, but still the Pitmen search for a home win this term goes on. Durrell's return to action may have an impact on the side, whilst the emergence of Osborne gives Pitmen supporters real hope. Next stop - sunny Cornwall, and the longest trip of the season down to big-spending Truro City

Hednesford Town: Crane, Bailey, Francis, Turner, Fuller, Denny, Osborne, Clements (78), Bellingham ©, Patterson, Carter (Durrell 58),

Subs Not Used: Dunkley, Brock, Keenan, Overfield


Leamington: Breeden, Lycett, Cowley, Downes, Sanders © (Tuohy 8), Daley, Faulds, Stapleton (Murphy 81), Wilding, Corbett, Batchelor      Subs Unused: Lewis, Roscoria, Husband

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