UniBond Northern Premier League

Hednesford Town

Dyer (6), Maguire (40)

Lincoln United

Jenkins (14), Brown (26)

(2) 2

(2) 2



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Ross Dyer


Ilkeston Town (A) 1.12.07

The Pitmen will take stock after this one and freely admit this was a game of two points dropped rather than one gained after a highly entertaining first half of football at Keys Park


Manager Phil Starbuck made changes to the side that beat Kendal the previous week, with striker Chris Hanna returning to parent club Walsall after his loan spell ended. Alan Nagington came in to replace him, with youngster Harry Hambleton, formerly of Tamworth, making up the bench. Sébastian Arnolin also returned to the side in place of the suspended Neil Brisco, whilst Steve Palmer returned to the squad as a substitute after recovering from injury

Lincoln had seen the departure of manager John Ramshaw in midweek with the former Hednesford assistant manager joining ambitious Eastwood Town as Paul Cox's assistant manager. Ramshaw had been replaced by another man with links to the Pitmen - midfielder Chris White - as caretaker manager, who was looking to stop the rot of four successive league defeats. White included several familiar faces to the Hednesford supporters in his XI, with Ritchie Butler, Iain Screaton and Justin Jenkins all starting the game whilst striker Jon Douglas was amongst the Whites' substitutes

After a bright opening from the visiting side, playing some neat football the Pitmen took the initiative and took an early lead through top scorer Ross Dyer. A good move involving Wayne Dyer, Nagington and the Hednesford youngster saw the ball nodded home by the striker from close-range

The Pitmen almost doubled their advantage three minutes later as Wayne Dyer's pass found Nagington in behind the Lincoln defence, only for an offside flag on the Wimblebury side to deny the former Leek striker a shot at goal


Jenkins - who failed to score in his short spell at Keys Park at the end of last season -  levelled the game once more on fourteen minutes with a crisp shot from the edge of the area that flew past Rene Gilmartin


Good play from Chris Adam and Anthony Maguire on sixteen minutes saw them exchange passes down the left before Adam sung in a fine cross that skipped across the Lincoln six-yard box and away from danger

Four minutes later, Screaton did well to win the ball from former team-mate Chad Sheppard in midfield before sending Jenkins away down the right. Stoic defending from Paul Robinson saw him hang out a leg and deny the striker a shooting opportunity


A deep corner kick from Craig McGuiness drifted over the heads of the Hednesford defenders on twenty-four minutes and fund the head of defender Ben Brown, only for the burly defender to head wide from a tight angle 

Lincoln's pressure finally told two minutes later as they took the lead for the first time in the game, with the Pitmen's defence failing to heed the warnings of a couple of minutes earlier; a free-kick on the left flank from Chris Glarvey was met by Brown once more, this time the defender headed home from close range

Back came the Pitmen, whose supporters started to aim their frustrations at Starbuck after falling behind. Maguire's rasping shot flew just wide of Scott's goal on thirty-one minutes before Sheppard was off target with a wayward free-kick from twenty-five yards out two minutes later


Gilmartin was alert to make an instinctive save to deny Glarvey on thirty-five minutes, parrying the midfielder's shot away from goal. The rebound fell to Ben Good, but he missed his kick as it dropped to him with a comedy air shot

Another utterly ridiculous spell of defensive mishaps almost led to a third Lincoln goal eight minutes from half-time; Robinson's attempted clearance went straight to McGuiness, who made moves into the penalty area before Robinson atoned for his error by conceding a corner kick. From the resultant kick, Gilmartin completely missed the ball and allowed it to drop to Jenkins, who made a hash of his shot and allowed Ross Adams to clear

The Pitmen did get their equaliser five minutes before the break, and it was the exciting Ross Dyer who carved out the chance as he got down the right flank and whipping in a cross that Maguire could not miss from as he sidefooted home at the far post

The returning Palmer replaced Arnolin at the break to add some steel to the midfield area after an anonymous first period from the Stafford loanee up against Screaton


A clash involving Wayne Dyer and Screaton six minutes after the restart saw players from both sides indulging in a bout of handbags, with the referee calming things down and subsequently booking the pair for the part in the melee

Scott did well to deny the impressive Dyer on fifty-six minutes to push the striker's goalbound away from danger after Maguire had picked out the youngster at the far post


The highly-rated Lincoln stopper denied Dyer again two minutes later, racing out of this goal to smother the ball at the feet of Dyer after he had broken the Lincoln offside trap to get on the end of a pass from Palmer

Dyer could have had a quickfire hat-trick on sixty-two minutes with the chances stacking up for him; Adam did brilliantly to get to the byeline on sixty-two minutes and pull the ball back into the striker's path only for Dyer to miscontrol the ball in the six-yard box and allow Lincoln to clear

Seven minutes later - a familiar sight from last season for the Hednesford supporters. Yes, the sight of Ritchie Butler being sent off for an over-zealous challenge, this time in a Lincoln shirt, right in front of Starbuck and his bench as he wiped Maguire out with a ridiculously late and high tackle. A well-deserved dismissal for a dreadful player with a complete lack of discipline

The hosts looked to take advantage of their numerical superiority in the final twenty minutes and piled the pressure on the Lincoln defence. Scott made another acrobatic save to deny the out-of-luck Dyer on seventy-one minutes, pushing his header around the post for another corner kick

From the resultant Maguire corner kick, Sheppard turned the ball goalwards with a powerful header, but Brown's presence of mind saw him clear the ball off the line and away

Six minutes later, Robinson was off-target from another Maguire corner kick as he nipped in ahead of Brown to glance an effort a matter of inches wide of the near post

The Pitmen made a quickfire double change as the game entered the final ten minutes as David Brown replaced Adam on the left-wing and Hambelton was handed a debut up front in place of the tiring Nagington


Lincoln reverted to two banks of four in front of Scott in the closing stages of the game to make life difficult for the Pitmen going forwards, limiting the hosts to set-pieces and long-range efforts. Wayne Dyer was off-target on eighty-four minutes with a well-struck effort that he lifted over Scott's crossbar and into the Heath Hayes terrace 

And yet, Palmer had to spare Hednesford's blushes late to deny Lincoln a winner on eighty-seven minutes by clearing a late effort from goal after a shot from substitute Douglas had beaten Gilmartin

In the first minute of added time, Wayne Dyer's earlier yellow card came back to haunt him; another tackle on Screaton saw the referee hand Dyer a final warning, only the big midfielder to keep complaining until the official had no choice but to sent the Montserrat International off for dissent. Not the kind of example a captain should be setting to his team-mates

A frustrating point against a resilient Lincoln side who had played well under White's temporary stewardship, with Ross Dyer particularly culpable after being handed several good chances to put the game to bed for the hosts. Next weekend sees the Pitmen back on their travels as they head to Derbyshire to face fellow mid-table side Ilkeston Town

Hednesford Town: Gilmartin, Adams, Robinson, Simms, Sheppard, Maguire, Adam (D. Brown 80), W. Dyer ©   (90), Arnolin (Palmer 45), R. Dyer, Nagington (Hambleton 83)      Subs Unused: None

Lincoln United: Scott, Foyle (Brooks 56), Butler ▆ (69), Glarvey, B. Brown, Toyne, Screaton , Mallinson, Good (Douglas 61), Jenkins (Carchedi 74), McGuiness      Subs Unused: None