Evo-Stik Northern Premier League

Hednesford Town

Stair (19) (OG)

Nantwich Town

(1) 1

(0) 0



Current Form

Next Match


Chekaine Steele


Mickleover Sports (H) 23.9.17

The Pitmen maintained their unbeaten start to the season at Keys Park by edging out an under-performing Nantwich Town side by a single goal this evening to give Rob Smith a boost following back-to-back away defeats


The defeats to Coalville and Workington had seen Rob Smith make another step into the transfer market with the signing of the highly-regarded Tyler Weir from Worcester City, ending a long-running search for a specialist left-back dating back to the start of pre-season. Weir came straight into the side in place of Alex Melbourne, whilst Callum Bullock was handed a first start after making his debut as a substitute against Workington as he replaced Conor Levingston


Nantwich's start to the season had been inconsistent, although Dave Cooke's side had made progress in the F.A. Cup at the weekend by inching past Shepshed Dynamo courtesy of a late Steve Jones goal. Former Hednesford midfielder Sam Hall missed out on the evening's action due to injury, with Sean Cooke replacing him in the centre of the park


A swift start from the Dabbers saw Harry Clayton fire straight at James Wren in the third minute, followed a minute later by a shot from Cooke that just cleared the crossbar


Wren had been busy in the first ten minutes, making another save on nine minutes to gather a loose ball after neat build-up play involving Cooke, Nathan Cotterell and Jamie Morgan


The Pitmen felt that they should have been awarded a penalty kick on twelve minutes as the impressive Chekaine Steele was upended in the box after being played in by Danny Glover. However, the referee was unimpressed and the game continued, despite the youngster's protests


Richard Platt - who had had a tough couple of games for the club since his arrival from Gloucester City - was finding life tough once again this evening as he struggled to keep pace with the slippery Cotterell down the left wing. indeed, most of Nantwich's good work in the opening quarter came through the former Winsford player as they tested Platt's flaky resolve


However, the Pitmen enjoyed a touch of fortune in taking a first-half lead on nineteen minutes, as good friends Tom Thorley and Glover linked up to create the opening that led to the opener. A neat slide-rule pass from Thorley found Glover whose driven shot across goal was deflected past his own keeper by defender Joel Stair - brother of former Hednesford right back Theo


Bullock went close to doubling the Pitmen's advantage on thirty-two minutes, as Nantwich-based James Lawrie played the Chorley youngster in on goal, but Bullock lacked composure and drilled his shot wide of goal


A superb run and cross from Cotterell on thirty-seven minutes was inches away from the foot of Ryan Brooke, but the striker was denied a simple goal by a last-ditch clearance from Jim Mutton


A superb challenge from Ben Bailey denied Nantwich skipper Matty Bell a clear shot on target on forty-four minutes, sliding in on the midfielder to nick the ball away from him as he shaped to shoot at goal


Despite being behind, Nantwich had had a number of decent openings in the first half and probably felt a little aggrieved at being a goal down at the break. It was the home side that started the second half well, with Joe Fitzpatrick driving in a shot that was deflected over for a corner kick on forty-seven minutes


Neat play involving Glover and Thorley once more on fifty-one minutes saw the Hednesford skipper in on goal, but his shot following Glover's flick-on was high over the crossbar


Superb wing play from Steele saw the youngster get in on goal and fire home, but an earlier offside flag pulled the game back, with Steele booked for kicking the ball into the net after the whistle had gone


Steele was given a warm ovation from the Hednesford supporters on sixty-two minutes, as he was replaced by Wolves loanee Levingston in midfield after running out of steam


Nantwich keeper Kristian Burzynski made a superb save to keep his side in the game on sixty-five minutes, palming a Bullock shot away at full stretch. From the resultant corner, Mutton headed goalwards but was denied a goal by a last-ditch goal-line clearance


Mutton was involved again for the home side five minutes later, hitting a shot on the turn over the crossbar after Glover had sent over a cross from the right flank


Nantwich went close to an equaliser on seventy minutes, as Cooke's free-kick came crashing back off the crossbar after he curled the ball around the Hednesford wall and beyond the reach of Wren


With fourteen minutes of the game remaining, Tyler Lyttle came on to add pace to the right side as he replaced youngster Bullock down the right flank in a like-for-like swap


Glover had been a superb influence all evening for the Pitmen, winning the majority of his headers and giving the Nantwich defence nightmares with his tireless work-rate. One knockdown on seventy-seven minutes was inches away from playing in substitute Levingston, but a timely clearance from Morgan denied the teenager a shot on goal


With five minutes remaining, Melbourne replaced the tiring Weir at left back as the Pitmen looked to close the game out and shore up their left hand side of the pitch


A brilliant piece of play from Wren in the final minute of the game was one of the highlights of the evening's entertainment, as the keeper raced out of goal and dribbled around two Nantwich players before pinging a ball over the top towards the onrushing Glover


Giant defender Clayton McDonald had been sent on by the visitors for a final assault on the Hednesford goal, but Bailey and Mutton held firm well to guide the Pitmen to a much-needed win to lift them into thirteenth place in the table


Smith and Chambers must now address the Pitmen's woeful away form, after this, another home win, starting on Saturday with a trip to Mickleover Sports, if they are to continue to climb the table and break the top ten for the first time this season. Expect more comings and goings as the Hednesford management duo continue to learn more about their squad in the coming days


Hednesford Town: Wren, Platt, Weir (Melbourne 85), Bailey, Mutton, Fitzpatrick , Steele   (Levingston 62), Thorley ©, Glover, Lawrie, Bullock (Lyttle 76)      Subs Unused: Nadat, Oji


Nantwich Town: Burzynski, Bourne, Morgan, Stair, Mullarkey, Bell ©, Hughes, Brooke (McDonald 82), Clayton (Davies 82), Cooke, Cotterell (Jones 78)      Subs Unused: Rowntree, Forbes