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Evo-Stik Northern Premier League

Hednesford Town

Hay (5)

Matlock Town

King (38)

(1) 1

(1) 1



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Gary Hay


Redditch United (A) 17.9.11

Both sides can be fairly happy with their contribution to a good game this evening, as Hednesford and Matlock shared the points at Keys Park in front of another good crowd

With the signing of Gary Hay from Chasetown twenty-four hours previously, manager Rob Smith had a selection headache as to whom to start with up front. He elected to start with his new man alongside the tireless Nick Wellecomme. There was also a return to the starting line up for defender Chris Shaw, who came in at left-back in place of Elliott Durrell

Hay was clearly in no position to hang around in the opening stages of the game, making the ideal start to his spell at Hednesford by grabbing a goal after just five minutes. Shaw's deep, searching cross from the left side was met brilliantly by Hay, out-jumping his marker and heading powerfully under the diving body of Jon Kennedy in the Matlock goal

Kyle Haynes could have doubled the Pitmen's lead a minute later, making a marauding run from inside his own half as Matlock backed off. However, as he reached the edge of the Gladiators penalty area, he scooped the ball well over the crossbar

Matlock's response came via Liam King on nine minutes, as the midfielder lofted a corner kick back towards the Hednesford goal after it was partially cleared, only for Dan Crane to watch the ball drop just over the crossbar

The away side were almost the architects of their own downfall on twenty minutes, as a heavy back pass to Kennedy very nearly found its way through the legs of the former Ilkeston stopper. Luckily for Kennedy, the ball bobbled between his legs and settled long enough for the keeper to hoof the ball away from the lurking Hay, who was causing Matlock problems with his physical approach to the game

Darren Campion - playing in a more advanced role than in previous games this term - nearly played Hay in for his second goal on the half-hour mark with a marauding run and cross that was inches away from connecting with Hay's boot

Crane had been a virtual spectator for the first thirty minutes but was called upon to field a Chris Bettney free kick on thirty-five minutes that was curling into the corner of the net

Matlock's very next attack put them on level terms on thirty-eight minutes as King seized upon the ball twenty-five yards out, striking a rising shot that deflected off Pedro Monteiro's shoulder and looped the ball over the head of Crane

Chris Clements tried his luck from long range as half time approached, but his dipping free-kick was turned away by Kennedy, who saved low down to his right. From the resultant corner kick, Cheyenne Dunkley rose to head Campion's ball home but was denied a goal by the referee, who pulled the game back for a foul. On closer inspection, there appeared to be little in the way of a foul or obstruction that justified the decision to deny Dunkley his goal

Matlock's start to the second half was bright, as they forced Crane into an early save courtesy of a scuffed effort from King on the edge of the area

Hay almost capped a perfect evening's work on fifty-seven minutes, as the unselfish Wellecomme laid the ball into the path of his striker partner, only for the post to deny Hay a goal as he hammered the ball goalwards

Smith decided to change things around with the introduction of Phil Clarke, who replaced the luckless Jamey Osborne in midfield on sixty-four minutes. This was followed soon after by Marvin Robinson replacing Wellecomme

Robinson was straight into the action, laying the ball off to Clements on seventy-one minutes. The midfielder's dipping shot had too much on it though, with Kennedy watching it over the crossbar

Danny Quinn was the Pitmen's final substitute, replacing goalscorer Hay on seventy-four minutes. He also made an immediate impact, heading Shaw's deep cross straight at Kennedy on seventy-six minutes

Robinson and Quinn were involved again ten minutes from time, setting up Clements with a shot from the edge of the area. Clements was wasteful with his effort, getting under the ball and lifting it over the crossbar. Jay Denny also had a rush of blood with his effort a minute later, skying the ball over the Heath Hayes terrace

Quinn was certainly making his presence felt in the latter stages of the game, and Hednesford's top scorer almost won it on eighty-seven minutes for the hosts as he leapt to head Campion's cross goalwards, only to be denied by Kennedy at his near post

Matlock's defenders were working overtime to deny the Pitmen another late winner, with Quinn denied by a last-ditch block after Clements had shimmied his way into the area and laid the ball into the path of Quinn

All in all, a fair point all round, as both sides demonstrated their respective skills in a pretty entertaining game. The Pitmen will feel that on another day they probably could have snatched all three points, but just as had been the case against Stocksbridge, not team that comes to Keys Park will be a walkover this season

Hednesford Town: Crane, Haynes, Shaw, Monteiro, Dunkley, Denny, Osborne (Clarke 64), Clements , Wellecomme (Robinson 70), Hay (Quinn 75), Campion ©       Subs Unused: Gomes, Durrell

Matlock Town: Kennedy, Harcourt, Algar, King, Yates, Lukic ©, Bettney (Warne 78), Nightingale (Knowles 86), Holmes, Bowler, Davies      Subs Unused: Whittingham, Featherstone, Buxton

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