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Evo-Stik Northern Premier League

Mickleover Sports

Ashton (35)

Hednesford Town

Shaw (56), Monteiro (84)

(1) 1

(0) 2



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Danny Quinn


Kendal Town (A) 27.8.11

Hednesford's superb start to the season continued this evening, as the Pitmen took all three points from a hard-fought game at Mickleover Sports this Wednesday evening. The Derbyshire team, strong at home, gave the high-flying Whites a real scare having taken a first-half lead that was no less then they deserved

Once again, manager Rob Smith stuck with a winning team, with Marvin Robinson returning to the substitutes bench after missing Saturday's game against Chester for personal reasons

As a rain shower hit Station Road just before kick-off, the Pitmen made the best of the slick surface in the early stages of the game and passed the ball around with purpose. Darren Campion made a number of encouraging runs down the left-hand side, whipping in two dangerous balls that were cleared by a panicky-looking Mickleover defence

Chris Clements was first to have a sight at goal on ten minutes, picking up Jay Denny's square ball and firing a couple of yards wide of goal

Mark Danks's game ended eight minutes later, as he was forced off due to a leg injury. Danny Quinn, who could count himself unlucky to be on the bench again, came on in his place

Quinn's hard work and pressure almost conjured up a goal on twenty-three minutes, getting in front of his marker and hitting a low shot that was well gathered by Mickleover keeper Ali Baccherini

Cheyenne Dunkley was inches away from grabbing a third goal of the season a minute later, as a Clements corner caused panic in the Mickleover ranks; Baccherini dropped the ball at the feet of the onrushing Dunkley, but the youngster had the ball hacked away from him as he shaped to shoot

Gradually, Sports started to come into the game, as the Pitmen seemed to allow complacency to creep into their game. Karl Ashton tested Dan Crane's reflexes on the half-hour mark with a powerful shot that the Hednesford number one parried away from goal

The fifty-fifty challenges suddenly seemed to favour the home side, as they got to grips with the Hednesford midfield and launched a number of promising attacks. One such move saw the hosts open up the Pitmen down the left-hand side, with Ashton having the simple task of sidefooting past an exposed Crane after a square pass from Kieran O'Connell

O'Connell could have added a second for Mickleover just before the break, as he fired inches wide of the post after yet another clever move exposed the Pitmen in midfield

The second half saw the Pitmen respond with a much more attacking mentality, as they launched an aggressive response to Mickleover's first-half performance. They won two corners in a row early on, forcing Sports onto the back foot. However, on both occasions, Clements' balls in were poor and were easily cleared

The pressure building on the Sports defence finally told on fifty-six minutes, as Campion's free-kick out on the right-hand side found the head of Chris Shaw, who headed firmly past Baccherini to level matters

Hednesford spent the next twenty minutes looking for another way through a tiring Mickleover defence, with a set-piece the most likely source of a goal. Pedro Monteiro almost put the Pitmen into the lead for the first time on sixty-nine minutes, heading Campion's corner kick narrowly wide of the far post

Wellecomme went closest to putting the Pitmen into the lead on seventy-seven minutes, racing clear as he chased down a Clements through ball, but Baccherini made a good save to deny the big striker on the edge of the area

The same man forced Baccherini into another save on eighty-two minutes, sweeping the ball towards goal but allowing the keeper to turn the ball away from goal

 Two minutes later, Hednesford finally made the pressure pay, as yet another Campion corner kick dropped at the far post for Monteiro, who turned the ball home from a tight angle

Smith immediately made two tactical changes as he looked to close the game out, with Robinson coming on for Wellecomme and Ben Bailey replacing loanee Kyle Haynes

There was still time for a late scramble from the home side, as Crane made a superb double save in added time to deny Mickleover an equaliser. The Pitmen move up to second place in the table as a result, with a difficult trip to Kendal in the offing on Saturday as the Pitmen try and make it five out of five 

Hednesford Town: Crane, Monteiro, Campion ©, Shaw, Dunkley, Denny, Haynes (Bailey 85), Clements , Wellecomme (Robinson 84), Danks (Quinn 18), Clarke       Subs Unused: Gomes, Osborne

Mickleover Sports: Baccherini, Leigh (Roulston 55), Guy, Walshe ©, Beardsley, Stryswski, Graves (Bryant 85), Martin, Ashton, O’Connell, Simpson      Subs Unused: Hoyle, Farthing, Smythe

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