26.9.2020

Pitching In Southern Premier League Central

Lowestoft Town

Hednesford Town

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Dan Turner

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Banbury United (A) 29.9.20

The Pitmen pick up their first point of the new season after making the longest journey on the calendar to Lowestoft Town this afternoon and earning themselves a draw, although Danny Glover could have grabbed all three points for the visitors but saw his second-half penalty kick saved

 

Tuesday night’s narrow win over step five opponents Long Eaton United had handed the Pitmen a first win of the new season and a place in the second qualifying round of this season’s F.A. Cup. Hednesford manager Andy Morrell made one change to the side that had started in midweek as Sam Griffiths replaced Kieron Dawes at right-back, whilst also having recent permanent signing Dan Sweeney available to take his place amongst the substitutes after the former Solihull Moors striker was passed fit for this afternoon’s game

 

Lowestoft had started the season in mixed form, winning 2-1 at Barwell on the opening day of the league season but subsequently losing 3-2 at home to step four side Aveley in the F.A. Cup in midweek. Manager Jamie Godbold made one change to the Trawlerboys line-up for today’s return to league action as Travis Cole came in for Adam Tann in midfield

 

On a cool and showery September afternoon with the wind blowing in off the North Sea just under a mile away, the men in neon yellow made a good start to the game as George Cater did well down the left wing and sent over a cross to the near post that Lowestoft keeper Luis Tibbles saved in front of the incoming Danny Glover

 

Lowestoft were denied a chance in the seventh minute of the game as skipper Ben Bailey hacked an effort from Tom Debenham off his own goal line with keeper Andy Wycherley beaten

 

Tuesday night’s goalscorer Dan Turner forced Tibbles into an early save in the ninth minute of the game, firing goalwards with a low shot that the Lowestoft stopper saved down low at his near post

 

The hosts were forced into an early substitution in the thirteenth minute as Jack Wilson was taken off after picking up a knock and was replaced by Tann. This saw a reshuffle of the Lowestoft side involving Josh Curry moving to full-back

 

Five minutes later, Turner had the best chance of the games far for the away side as he broke into the Lowestoft penalty area and turned the ball past Tibbles but also narrowly past the post in the process

 

Rhys Thompson lifted a long-range effort over the Lowestoft crossbar on twenty-three minutes as the visitors continued to press before they themselves had the ball cleared off the line two minutes later as Lowestoft stood firm in the face of a bout of Hednesford pressure

 

Midfielder Jack Hallahan tried his luck for the Pitmen in the twenty-seventh minute of the game, lifting his rising effort just over Tibbles’ crossbar after Cater had set him up from the right flank

 

Great play from the Pitmen on the half hour mark saw Glover played in, only for the in-form striker to frustratingly clatter the post with his effort. Close from the Pitmen

 

Some pressure from the hosts saw them win three successive corner kicks as they looked to test the under-utilised Wycherley, with one of Jacek Zielonka’s corners on forty minutes finding the head of Cole but was deflected behind by Bailey for another corner kick

 

With five minutes of the first half remaining, the Pitmen had the ball in the net through that man Glover as he a quick break from the Pitmen saw the striker played in on goal where he turned the ball past Tibbles, only for an earlier offside flag to deny Glover the opening goal of the afternoon

 

Two minutes later, Glover headed over for the Pitmen from close range as he continued to have a mixed afternoon in front of goal

 

Lowestoft had the final chance of the half with two minutes remaining as Debenham’s low shot forced Wycherley into a fairly comfortable save  down to his right-hand side

 

The Pitmen could be fairly happy with their overall display at half-time, having had the better of the chances but had been wasteful in front of goal when the opportunities had been handed to them. Lowestoft were forced into another change at the break as Louis McIntosh replaced Kieran Higgs in midfield

 

Debenham went close for the Trawlerboys at the start of the second half was his shot was deflected narrowly wide of goal by the Pitmen’s defence in the forty-eighth minute of the game for a Lowestoft corner kick

 

The visitors were handed a golden opportunity to take the lead on fifty-three minutes as Glover was sent sprawling from a challenge by tibbles inside the Lowestoft penalty area. The referee Mr. Laflin immediately pointed to the spot, with Glover picking himself up to take the resultant spot-kick. However, as he had done in the same fixture last term, Hednesford’s top scorer fluffed his lines from twelve yards out as Tibbles guessed right to turn the striker’s penalty kick away from goal and deny him his fourth goal of the season

 

Lowestoft reacted with a neat passage of play involving substitute McIntosh and Jake Reed on fifty-eight minutes, culminating in Reed firing just over Wycherley’s crossbar with a rising effort

 

Cater tried his luck for the away side on sixty-four minutes, drilling a low shot just wide of the base of the left-hand post with Tibbles struggling to get across to the shot

 

The Pitmen continued to have the better of the openings with back-to-back corner kicks on sixty-seven minutes from Louis Dodds, with the second one headed narrowly over the crossbar by Bailey

 

A rare chance for the shot-shy hosts on seventy minutes saw Zielonka cross for Reed once more, but the striker’s header was easily saved by Wycherley inside his six-yard box

 

The two sides traded half-chances from respective free-kicks, before Morrell made a double attacking change on seventy-three minutes as Sweeney and Will Norcross came on in place of Dodds and Cater

 

Sweeney’s first touch as a permanent Hednesford signing saw him lash a rising effort over the crossbar for the visitors two minutes later. The same player went close again for the Pitmen on seventy-eight minutes as he once again drilled a shot over Tibbles’ crossbar

 

Sweeney was putting himself about for Hednesford and earned his side a free-kick on eighty-four minutes after a bustling run was brought to an end illegally. Hallahan’s free-kick lacked direction however and was easily claimed by Tibbles

 

In the final minute of the game, Lowestoft earned themselves a free-kick in a dangerous position just outside the Hednesford penalty area. However, the Hednesford wall stood firm and diverted the resultant free-kick away from danger before being cleared to safety

 

A useful point earned for the Pitmen that gets them on the board for the season, although they will feel aggrieved at not taking one of the many opportunities handed to them throughout the game, particularly Glover’s penalty miss. Morrell’s men are on the road once more on Tuesday night as they travel to Banbury United looking to earn that elusive first win of the new season at the Spencer Stadium

Lowestoft Town: Tibbles, Murphy, Wilkinson (Tann 13), Jarvis (Lopez 77), Curry, Cole, Zielonka, Fisk ©, Reed, Debenham, Higgs      Subs Unused: Wells, Ruffles

 

Hednesford Town: Wycherley, Griffiths, Campbell-Gordon, Bailey ©, Mendez-Jones, Thompson, Cater (Sweeney 73), Hallahan, Glover, Dodds (Norcross 73), Turner       Sub Unused: Smith, Dawes, Lycett

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