22.9.2020

F.A. Cup 1st Qualifying Round

Hednesford Town

Glover (43), (90), Turner (60)

Long Eaton United

Marshall (58), Gordon (63)

(1) 3

(0) 2

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

342

Danny Glover

L W

 

Lowestoft Town (A) 26.9.20

The Pitmen leave it late to move into the next round of this season's F.A. Cup as Danny Glover's injury-time strike is enough to see them past a spirited Long Eaton United side this evening at the PRG Stadium @ Keys Park

 

The quick turnaround of games saw the Pitmen handed an immediate opportunity to shake off Saturday's controversial defeat at home to Stourbridge with tonight's first qualifying round encounter. Manager Andy Morrell rang the changes as he made three changes to the side that had started at the weekend; Kieron Dawes, Ryan Campbell-Gordon and Louis Dodds were all handed starts at the expense of Sam Griffiths, Carter Lycett and Jed Davies as the hosts went in search of a place in the second qualifying round at the chance to pocket the £2,250 prize money

 

Step five Long Eaton came into today's tie very much as underdogs but carrying a significant threat to the Pitmen, having won an incredible league game last week at Selston by 12 goals to nil. Manager Ian Deakin made two changes to the side that destroyed Selston last week, bringing Kieran Walker and James Taylor in for Matt Baker and Ryan Ingram respectively as Long Eaton looked to add their name to the likes of Gedling Town, Pegasus Juniors, Newcastle Town, Bromsgrove Rovers and Boston Town in upsetting the odds and knocking the Pitmen out of the F.A. Cup

 

On a fairly mild September evening and with a crowd close to 350 in attendance the Pitmen started well through the ever-willing Dan Turner, who drilled a third minute effort just over the crossbar from a tight angle after making a marauding run into the Long Eaton penalty area

 

Turner went even closer to opening the scoring three minutes later as he forced Sam Wilson in the Long Eaton goal into a fine save down to his left-hand side after picking up the loose ball on the edge of the penalty area and curling an effort towards goal

 

Andy Wycherley was alert to Long Eaton's first ball into the Hednesford box in the twelfth minute as he confidently punched the ball away from the head of striker Charlie Wilde from Jamie Walker's inswinging free-kick

 

Turner did brilliantly to win the ball back for the Pitmen two minutes later and feed Glover, who in turn slipped the ball back into his strike partner's path. Turner's low shot beat Wilson but skipped just wide of the far post as he drilled a low effort towards goal from twelve yards out

 

George Cater was flagged offside by the official on the Wimblebury side in the nineteenth minue as he skipped away from the Long Eaton defence to get on the end of a fine through ball from Dodds, only for the late flag against him to deny him a shot at goal

 

Wycherley punched clear once more for the hosts midway through the first half, denying Long Eaton skipper Romaine Graham a header at goal as he cleared a deep free-kick into the Hednesford penalty area with a confident fist away

 

A long throw from Kieran Walker caught the Pitmen out at their near post on twenty-four minutes, relying on skipper Ben Bailey to finally clear the danger after the ball had bounced around in the home side's six-yard box

 

A succession of corner kicks from Dodds from both sides of the pitch were cleared by the Long Eaton defence, under pressure from the likes of Bailey and Callam Mendez-Jones. One such corner was tipped over by Wilson on the half hour as he was put under pressure by Glover on his goal line

 

A superb cross from Dawes on thirty-six minutes to the far post was just begging to be turned home by Turner, who somehow skewed his effort wide from close-range with his right boot as he beat Graham to the cross

 

With three minutes of the half remaining, the Pitmen finally got their noses in front with Glover on the scoresheet again as he was against Stourbridge on Saturday; another superb cross to the far post from Dawes was met by the head of Glover, whose looping effort beat Wilson and dropped into the net via a late touch from Turner to ensure the ball was over the line

 

It had been a workmanlike display from the hosts so far, who had edged the tie in overall chances and possession but had been wasteful in both departments. Long Eaton could be pleased at still being in touch at the break, and emerged with far more purpose after Deakin's half-time chat with nothing to lose in the second period

 

Rhys Thompson had the first sight at goal of the second half for the home side on fifty-one minutes but saw his long-range effort deflected wide of goal for another corner kick. A quick break from Long Eaton two minutes later saw them run directly at a retreating Hednesford defence which culminated in a low shot from Taylor that Wycherley saved inside his six-yard box

 

The game started to take on a more classic cup tie rhythm as the ball was moved quickly from end to end; the Pitmen broke quickly from a Long Eaton free-kick on fifty-five minutes as won a corner through Turner, which Glover headed towards goal from the resultant kick but was denied by Wilson at his far post

 

Two minutes later, Dodds tested the reflexes of Wilson with a long-range effort from a Jack Hallahan pass that was well saved by the Long Eaton keeper down to his right-hand side

 

Long Eaton were rewarded for their enterprising start to the second half with an equalising goal on fifty-eight minutes, although the Hednesford defence did not cover itself in any glory with some dreadful defending in the build-up; a long ball forwards from Ryan Head saw Bailey and Alex Marshall challenge for the ball on the edge of the penalty area, with the Long Eaton striker beating Bailey to the ball before seeing off a half-hearted challenge from Mendez-Jones and scuffing the ball past Wycherley from close range. The Hednesford keeper should have done better with the shot as he allowed it to squirm beyond his reach and could only divert it into his net

 

Shocked into action once more, the Pitmen provided an immediate response through Turner, who scored his first goal of the new season just two minutes later. A long throw from debutant Campbell-Gordon was flicked on by Thompson inside the Long Eaton penalty area and into the path of Turner, who showed great awareness to pounce on the ball and turn it home from twelve yards out

 

This crazy spell of the game came to a head just three minutes later as Long Eaton equalised once more courtesy of more direct play from the visitors and more poor defending from the hosts;  another long throw from Kieran Walker was flicked on by Brad Wilson and into the path of Graham, whose initial shot was blocked on the line by Mendez-Jones before the ball dropped kindly for Danny Gordon to turn home from close-range

 

Suddenly, the visitors looked the more likely to complete the comeback and take the lead and hit the crossbar with their next attack. Jamie Walker's dipping shot caught Wycherley unaware and came back off the crossbar before Graham turned the rebound narrowly wide of the post with the goal at his mercy

 

The home side made their first change of the evening on sixty-eight minutes as Cater - who had been anonymous for much of the game - was hauled off in favour of winger Will Norcross

 

A good run from the Hednesford substitute on seventy-one minutes saw the former Mickleover man skip past a couple of challenges and cross for Turner, who blazed another good chance over the crossbar from fifteen yards out

 

Dodds went close for the Pitmen two minutes later as he drove an angled shot just wide of goal and into the side netting after a slide-rule pass from Hallahan

 

A quick break from the visitors with fourteen minutes remaining saw Jamie Walker break clear of the Hednesford defence, only to fire straight into the grateful arms of Wycherley with a shot on the run as Dawes bore down on him

 

With eight minutes remaining, the impressive Dawes was forced off after being flattened in midfield and was replaced by Griffiths for the remainder of the game at right-back

 

The Pitmen were becoming a little desperate in their quest for a winner as Long Eaton stood firm, looking to hang on to the draw and take their hosts to the lottery of a penalty shoot-out. A good turn and pass from Turner found Norcross with three minutes remaining, but the substitute could not apply the finish with an off-target effort

 

Three corner kicks in a row cranked up the pressure on Long Eaton's tiring defence in the final minutes, but still the Pitmen could not force home a winner as the Midland Football League side held firm. With the game heading into added time and both sides seemingly resigned to a shoot-out, that man Glover once again came up with the goods when his side needed him the most with a late, late winner. Campbell-Gordon's cross from the left wing was knocked down by Turner to Glover, who took a touch before driving home an unstopable low shot beyond the reach of Wilson and into the far corner of the net to send the Keys Park crowd wild with joy

 

In an attempt to see out the final moments, Hednesford brought Lee Smith on in place of Dodds for the last few seconds of the game as an insurance policy in front of the defenders

 

The final whistle was greeted with celebrations from the home side, no doubt mixed with a fair amount of relief at finally seeing off the valiant challenge of their opponents after a pulsating second half from both sides that had seen the game ebb and flow. The Pitmen move into the second qualifying round draw at the end of the week and return to league action once more on Saturday as they face their longest trip of the campaign to Lowestoft Town looking to pick up their first league win of the new season and carry over their goalscoring form from tonight at Crown Meadow

 

Hednesford Town: Wycherley, Dawes (Griffiths 82), Campbell-Gordon,  Bailey ©, Mendez-Jones, Thompson, Cater (Norcross 68), Hallahan, Glover, Dodds (Smith 90), Turner       Sub Unused: Dodd, Veiga, Woakes, Lycett

 

Long Eaton United: S. Wilson, B. Wilson, Head, Gordon, Graham ©, K. Walker, Taylor (Wheatley 85), Brittain (Shaw 68), Marshall, Wilde (Piliero 71), J. Walker        Subs Unused: Baker, Korzeniewski, Ingram, Coombes

 

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