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UniBond Northern Premier League

Hednesford Town

Barnett (30), (64), (87), Durrell (81)

Matlock Town

(1) 4

(0) 0



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Tyrone Barnett


Ashton United (H) 27.9.08

Hednesford made it four wins from four home matches this season with their biggest total of the season against the ten men of Matlock Town at Keys Park tonight


Manager Dean Edwards - looking to continue his side's encouraging start to the new season - made three changes his side from the one that had started last weekend's 1-1 draw at Camel Laird; goalkeeper Stuart Brock's groin injury picked up in the Cammell Laird game saw him ruled out and replaced by new signing Danny Woodhall, who had joined the club from Halesowen Town. Another new signing, Asa Charlton, came straight into the side after making the midweek loan switch from AFC Telford United as he replaced Anthony Maguire down the left whilst Elliott Durrell was rewarded for this fine strike last Saturday as he replaced Louis Briscoe

Mid-table Matlock had been well beaten by Boston United at Causeway Lane at the weekend, losing 2-0 to the Pilgrims to leave the Gladiators down in fifteenth place in the UniBond League Table ahead of tonight's trip to Keys Park. There were two changes to the Matlock line-up from Saturday's game as joint managers Phil Brown and Gareth Williams elected to bring Ryan Davis in for Ashley Foyle and Matty Cauldwell for Jamie Jackson

Buoyed by their recent good form at home, the Pitmen started well with Durrell firing in a warning shot at Matlock goalkeeper Andy Richmond on four minutes with a twenty-yard effort that skipped just wide of the post

Three minutes later, Durrell laid the ball off to skipper Ross Draper, whose superb lofted pass was brilliantly brought under control by Tyrone Barnett, only for the former Telford man to slice his right-footed effort well wide of goal

A deep corner kick from Draper in the ninth minute of the game found Danny Harvey lurking at the far post, with the young defender's header back across goal hacked clear by former Sheffield Wednesday man Matty Thorpe before Ross Dyer could react

A rare break on the counter from Matlock in the twelfth minute saw youngster Ross Hannah, who got on the end of a slide-rule pass from Davis and took the ball past Decio Gomes as he entered the penalty area, only to overrun the ball slightly and allow Woodhall enough time to come out of his goal and claim the ball at the feet of the striker

A quick throw-out from Woodhall three minutes later found Sean Pltt in acres of space down the right, allowing the former Walsall man to take the ball into the Matlock half and pick out Barnett with an inswinging cross that was headed over the crossbar by the athletic striker as he nipped in ahead of Ryan Laight 

Draper - looking to add to his impressive goal tally from midfield so far this fterm - almost grabbed a bizarre opening goal for the hosts on twenty minutes when he seized upon a loose kick from Richmond before attempting an audacious lob from forty-five yards out that dropped inches wide of the relieved goalkeeper's right-hand post

Midway through a competitive first period, Woodhall was well-positioned to make another smothering save as he denied Gladiators skipper Simon Barraclough by claiming a Liam King cross at his near post ahead of the striker

Platt - one of the more underrated performers of the season so far in the Pitmen's good start to the season - was next to try his luck on twenty-six minutes as he hared forward to get on the end of a ball from Durrell but could not keep his shot down as he drilled in an angled shot from the corner of the Matlock penalty area

The Pitmen's incessant pressure on the Matlock backline finally paid off on the half-hour mark with the in-form Barnett grabbing his fourth goal of the season. It was another error from Richmond that led to the Pitmen opening the scoring as his sliced clearance found the head of Tom Marshall, whose header back into the opposition third sent Barnett clear. After beating both centre-backs for pace, he coolly slid the ball past the advancing Richmond from twelve yards out to make it 1-0

Five minutes later, they felt they should have had a penalty when Barnett picked up Platt's pass and looked to flick it on to Dyer, with the ball appearing to hit the arm of Davis. Despite the home side's protests, the referee failed to award a penalty and allowed play to continue. In the melee that ensued, Draper picked up the loose ball just outside the Matlock penalty area before being crudely brought down by a dreadful late challenge by Laight, giving the match official little option but to show the defender a straight red card for the tackle

Matlock regrouped well after the blow of losing Laight, dropping back into a more defensive shape with only Barraclough left as a lone target man to aim at for the remaining ten minutes of the half. Richmond made a smart save to deny Gomes on thirty-eight minutes as the Portuguese defender headed Draper's sliced cross towards goal from ten yards out

With a couple of minutes of the first half remaining, Marshall's up and under just inside his own half found the head of Barnett, who rose above Thorpe to head the ball on to Dyer, only for the youngster to be denied a shot on goal by a late offside flag against him on the Wimblebury side of the ground

The Pitmen went in at the break full of confidence that they could now go on and finish the job, having broken the deadlock and dominated play against the ten men of Matlock. The away side made a couple of positional changes at half-time and set themselves up to be hard to break down at the start of the second period


 On forty-eight minutes, midfield man King should have equalised for the Gladiators as he got on the end of a cross from Gary Webster, only for Woodhall to tip his goalbound effort over the crossbar for a Matlock corner kick

Three minutes later, King followed Laight into the referee's notebook as he was penalised and shown a yellow card for hacking down Durrell to stop the youngsters from getting past him down the left wing

Durrell was involved once more for the Pitmen on fifty-four minutes as he forced Richmond into a desperate save down to his right as the former Telford forward shrugged off Davis's challenge and struck another one of his long-range efforts at goal that had the former Chesterfield stopper scrambling across his goal to get a hand to

New boy Charlton was getting more and more involved in the game as it wore on, making a number of runs forward in more of a wing-back role down the left. His flighted cross on fifty-eight minutes found Platt coming in at the back post, but his header back across goal missed everyone and rolled out of play across the far byeline

Charlton was to have a hand, however, in the Pitmen's second goal as the hosts extended their lead after the hour mark. The former Redditch United full-back played an incisive ball into the feet of Dyer, standing just inside the Matlock penalty area. In turn, the striker squared the ball to Barnett, who fired past Richmond from fifteen yards out to put some distance between the sides

Matlock refused to lie down, however, and to their credit continued to press; Barraclough forced Woodhall into an instinctive stop midway through the second half as his flick from a Webster cross was palmed away by the sopper at his near post

Two minutes later, Durrell and Dyer exchanged passes to take the ball around Simon Featherstone before setting up Draper on the edge of the penalty area, only for the midfielder to fire high and wide of goal

Gomes was denied a goal by the match officials on seventy minutes as his downwards header from a Marshall free-kick looked to be heading into the far corner of the net, but a foul by the defender on Davis in the build-up saw the flag raised against him on the main stand side of the ground

The visitors made a double change of personnel with sixteen minutes of the game remaining as Thorpe was replaced by Simon Harison and Dene Cropper came on for Webster


A minute later, Woodhall convinced any doubters out there that he was the ideal fill-in keeper for the experienced Brock with a brilliant save to deny Barraclough from close-range, turning the ball over the crossbar with another fine instinctive stop as the Matlock skipper guided Cropper's cross towards goal

Woodhall was however helpless to react to a great chance that fell to Cropper three minutes later as Matlock went even closer to reducing arrears as King's deep cross from the right found the substitute unmarked at the far post but he somehow managed to divert the ball wide of the post

Davis was the latest player in green to pick up a booking on seventy-eight minutes as he and Draper clashed in the centre circle, leaving the Hednesford captain on the floor in the process

The impressive Durrell added another impressive strike to the one he had hit at Cammell Laird on Saturday as he put the Pitmen three goals to the good with nine minutes remaining; Dyer and Mark Briggs combined to set up the teenager as they laid it off to him just outside the penalty area, with Durrell hitting a firm low shot at goal that Richmond could get nowhere near

With the points essentially wrapped up, Edwards made his first change of the evening with five minutes remaining as Scott Stamps came on at left-back in place of Charlton

Durrell's growing influence on the game saw him involved in the Pitmen's fourth goal of the evening with three minutes remaining; his free-kick out near the left-hand touchline was perfectly placed for Barnett at the far post, allowing the striker to rise above the Matlock defence and head home for an impressive hat-trick

Durrell was afforded a standing ovation from the home supporters after his second-half masterclass on eighty-nine minutes, with Briscoe coming on to replace him for the few minutes that were remaining

There was still time for Featherstone to pick up a booking in added time as the left-back was booked for a clumsy and frustrated challenge on Briggs to bring the former West Brom midfielder down in full flight

A thoroughly entertaining game and a great result for the Pitmen, who will go into Saturday's re-arranged game at home to Ashton United full of confidence as they move up to sixth place in the table. The one negative from tonight's result was the low crowd, with only 373 turning up to support an entertaining and goal-laden Hednesford side. Hopefully, word will get round quickly of the Pitmen's talented young squad and the club can start to hit its 600 average they are looking for this term

Hednesford Town: Woodhall, Platt, Charlton (Stamps 85), Gomes, Harvey, Marshall, Briggs, Durrell (Briscoe 89), Barnett, Dyer, Draper ©       Subs Unused: Sheppard, Maguire, Brown

Matlock Town: Richmond, King , Featherstone , Thorpe (Harrison 74), Laight  (35), Davis ▆, Webster (Cropper 74), Warne, Hannah (Benger 80), Barraclough ©, Cauldwell      Sub Unused: Foster

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