10.3.2018

Evo-Stik Northern Premier League

Marine

Short (41), Brewster (59)

Hednesford Town

(1) 2

.

(0) 0

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

305

Tom Thorley

W W W D D W L D L L

Marine (H) 17.3.18

The Pitmen's return to action after two weeks off is one to forget for Rob Smith and his side, as they are easily brushed aside by lowly Marine this afternoon at the Marine Travel Arena

 

The recent cold snap had put paid to Hednesford's last two games, with a trip to Grantham and a home game in midweek against Buxton both called off due to unplayable pitches. Smith's side returned to the pitch without the services of Joe Fitzpatrick, with the midfielder starting his suspension following his red card against Warrington Town. Loan forward Jason Law was handed a full debut by Smith, who also handed Louis Harris a first start to replace Fitzpatrick in midfield. James Fitzgibbon was only deemed fit enough to be named amongst the substitutes. Ben Bailey made his first league start for some time in defence, replacing the rested Sam Oji

 

Tommy Lawson's Marine side had spent much of the campaign flirting with the bottom four,  with successive defeats to Workington and Mickleover Sports in the past week dropping the Crosby club into the bottom three. New signing from Altrincham Josh Amis was named in the starting line-up alongside prolific skipper Danny Mitchley in an attack-minded set-up

 

The hosts found their feet the quicker of the two sides on a heavy pitch and forced two early corners, with James Wren smartly down in the fifth minute to smother a shot from debutant Amis

 

A major asset to the team when Bailey is playing is his ability to launch long throws into the penalty area, with a deep throw from the defender on nine minutes somehow drifted wide of goal, with no-one in a grey shirt on hand to turn the loose ball home

 

James Lawrie's free-kick into the Marine penalty area a minute later was met by striker Joey Butlin, but the burly striker found his looping header land on the roof of the net

 

There was a lengthy stoppage in play in the fourteenth minute, as Harris and Michael Brewster clashed in midfield, with both players requiring treatment after a clash of heads

 

Two minutes later, a neat passage of play from the home side saw Amis play in James Short, whose half-volley flew narrowly wide of Wren's right-hand post

 

Jordan Graham became the first in a long line of Hednesford players to receive a caution on twenty-two minutes for an innocuous-looking foul when it appeared that the winger had won the ball cleanly

 

Another long throw from Bailey three minutes later caused momentary panic for the Marine defence, with Harris's flick-on heading towards the bottom corner before Peter Wylie's intervention

 

Harris was the next Hednesford player to make his way into the book on thirty-four minutes following a foul and them words with the referee afterwards

 

The Mariners took the lead at the perfect time in the match - four minutes before the break - as the Pitmen switched off in defence for the first time in the game. A free kick from Short out on the right-hand side of the area was whipped in towards the far post, with Adam Hughes appearing to glance the ball past Wren from close range. However, on second viewing, it appeared that the ball in from Short went straight into the net without help from his team-mate and he was awarded the goal

 

The first half ended with youngster Law shown a yellow card for a slightly mistimed challenge out on the left-hand side of the pitch

 

The Pitmen started the second half brighter, with Lawrie's free-kick finding Callam Mendez-Jones with the first attack of the restart, only for the right back to lift his shot over the crossbar with a half-volley from twelve yards out

 

The ineffective Graham had been on the periphery of the game throughout and missed a great chance to level matters on fifty minutes. A great passage of play down the Hednesford left saw Matt Curley and Tom Thorley combine well, with Thorley's driven cross into Graham's feet embarrassingly mis-kicked by the youngster as he swung at fresh air

 

Wren made another fine save three minutes later, making a low stop to deny Amis a second goal for Marine after he had been played in by new strike partner Mitchley

 

A great delivery from Lawrie on fifty-four minutes saw him swing in a free kick that found the head of Charlie Gatter, only for the centre back to glance an effort just wide of goal

 

Law's full debut for the Pitmen came to an end on fifty-seven minutes, as he was replaced by Danny Glover as the Pitmen brought on another centre-forward to play alongside Butlin

 

Two minutes later, Marine made the game safe with a killer second goal through Brewster; a great run down the left from Mitchley saw him hold off Gatter's challenge sufficiently to give him time and space to fire in a shot, with Wren making an excellent low stop. However, he could only divert the ball into the path of Brewster, who had the simple task of tapping the rebound home from close range

 

The Pitmen responded through Lawrie, who was played in by Butlin but drove his shot well wide of Martin Fearon's goal

 

The visitors made the second and last change of the afternoon on seventy-three minutes, with Reece King coming on for Harris in the centre of midfield

 

A well-delivered corner kick from Lawrie on seventy-seven minutes found the head of substitute King, but his knock-down was just out of reach of Butlin, who failed to turn the ball home from close range

 

Mitchley could have made it 3-0 with ten minutes remaining, as his ambitious chip over Wrn from just outside the penalty area was floated wide of goal

 

Graham finally called upon Fearon to make a save for the hosts with four minutes remaining, as his low, bobbling shot was well fielded by the Marine keeper down to his right

 

Mendez-Jones was booked for the Pitmen as the game entered added time, with the drizzly weather that ended the game indicative of the Pitmen's mood at the referee's final whistle. It had been a poor, limp display from the visitors, who lacked a cutting edge throughout and had allowed their hosts to canter to a win. The play-offs are now looking a little distant for the Pitmen, with Smith looking for an immediate response from his shot-shy team when the two sides meet again in the reverse fixture at Keys Park next weekend

 

Marine: Fearon, Wylie, Short, Hughes, Strickland, Smart, Brewster (McGrath 87), Field (Murray 70), Mitchley ©, Amis (Reid 67), Tongue   Unused Subs: Baker, Watson

 

Hednesford Town: Wren, Mendez-Jones , Curley, Bailey, Gatter , Harris (King 73), Law (Glover 57), Thorley ©, Butlin, Graham , Lawrie   Unused Subs: Oji, Fitzgibbon, Veiga

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