30.10.2012

Evo-Stik Northern Premier League

Hednesford Town

Rey (27), Durrell (68)

Marine

(1) 2

(0) 0

Attendance

MoTM

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403

Aaron Rey

W W D L L D W W W W

Whitby Town (A) 3.11.12

The Pitmen made it four wins in a row with an impressive win over fellow promotion contenders Marine this evening at a cold Keys Park. In the process, they joined their opponents and Witton Albion on twenty-seven points

With the Pitmen in the middle of a busy schedule, Hednesford supremo Rob Smith made a number of changes to his starting line-up for this crunch match. In came John Disney, Neil Harvey, Aaron Rey and Ben Bailey, with Dave MacPherson, Sean O'Connor, Luke Bottomer and Francino Francis all missing out

Marine, starting the game in second place in the table, made a good start to the game, with Dan Crane having to be alert to turn Andy Fowler's effort away for a corner on seven minutes

Nathan Woolfe took the game to Marine on nine minutes, turning inside and shooting towards goal, but could not get the power behind his shot that was on his weaker right foot

Successive corner kicks from Durrell saw Hednesford exert pressure on Ryan McMahon in the Marine goal, with the former Prescot stopper electing to punch many of the balls in rather than catch them

Crane again came to his team's rescue on thirteen minutes, making a smart save to deny Jonathan Goulding before McMahon punched another ball away from goal, this time from Rey's low shot

Alex Melbourne, dispatched in the midfield role that the suspended MacPherson normally patrols, was doing a  more than passable impression of his club captain, breaking up Marine's attacks and linking the midfield and attack. Midway through the half, he linked up well with Disney and Neil Harvey before firing narrowly over the bar from fully thirty yards out

Former Marine strikers Rey and Harvey had given the Mariners defence a tough time in the first quarter, and the two linked up to put the Pitmen ahead on twenty-eight minutes. Melbourne's cross dropped at the feet of Harvey, who made a hash of his attempted shot. The ball ran kindly to Rey, who slid the ball underneath McMahon to score his first league goal for the Pitmen

Rey could have doubled his, and Hednesford's advantage, six minutes later, as Jamey Osborne whipped a cross in from the left. Rey stretched to reach the ball but scuffed the ball over the crossbar

Marine were dealt a huge blow just before half time, as left-back John Shaw was sent off after an altercation with Elliott Durrell. Durrell fell on the ball and gave away a free-kick for obstruction, but Shaw's impatience and dissent saw him kick Durrell whilst he was on the ground. After a bout of handbags, the referee quite rightly sent Shaw off for violent conduct

The Mariners were forced into a reorganisation in their ranks as a result of Shaw's red card with former Hednesford loanee Michael Ordish brought on just before half time to shore up the left-hand side

With the extra man advantage, Hednesford looked to push on early in the second half and clinch all three points. Osbourne was quickly into his stride on forty-seven minutes, getting it all wrong with a wild shot from distance after being set up by Woolfe

Just before the hour mark, a free-kick from Woolfe caused problems for McMahon, with the Marine stopper only succeeding in punching the ball to Ben Bailey. He did recover well enough to make a second save from Bailey as the defender

On came Karl Noon for the away side, with the forward getting involved immediately as he was played in by Goulding. He was denied a clear shot on goal by a fantastic last-ditch challenge from Sam Barnes

Woolfe's delivery all evening was spot on from the left wing for Hednesford, and another great cross from the winger found the head of Harvey on sixty-six minutes. The Barbadian beat his marker but headed over the crossbar when he should have worked McMahon

Two minutes later, Durrell added to his goal tally for the season with a superb finish to put clear air between the two sides. Osbourne's raking ball set Durrell off down the left, with the midfielder opening up his body and curling a superb shot past McMahon from an angle to double Hednesford's lead

The Pitmen gave themselves the luxury of making three late substitutions with Woolfe, Durrell and Harvey all getting a rest as Bottomer, Michael Lennon and O'Connor came on

It was Lennon who could have put the icing on the cake late on for the hosts, as he had two great chances to score his first goal at Keys Park. Firstly, his low effort was palmed away by McMahon, before he raced away from the Marine defence on eighty-nine minutes and lobbed the ball over McMahon from an angle, only to see his effort miss the far post by a matter of inches

There was still time for Rey to test McMahon with a powerful drive, followed by a chance for Marine's Danny Grannon in added time that Melbourne hacked off the goal line

An excellent team performance from the Pitmen sees them move up to fourth place in the table, four points off top spot with two games in hand

Hednesford Town: Crane, Disney, Campion ©, Bailey, Barnes, Melbourne , Osborne, Durrell (69) (Lennon 83), Harvey (O’Connor 83), Rey (28), Woolfe (Bottomer 77)       Subs Unused: Francis, Hornby

Marine: McMahon ©, Dowling, Shaw (43), Brown (Ordish 43), Grannon, Lawton (Dawson 67), Fowler (Noon 56), Goulding, Brown, Rogan, Burton       Subs Unused: Lundon, Williams