Skrill North

North Ferriby United

Yates (1), A. Wilson (45), (85)

Hednesford Town

(2) 3

(0) 0



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Neil Harvey


Vauxhall Motors (H) 14.9.13

Hednesford's long unbeaten run in league and cup finally came to a halt this afternoon, as North Ferriby United - the last side to defeat the Pitmen back in March - completed a straightforward win over their promotional rivals from last season to move level on points with Rob Smith's side in the Skrill North table

The settled nature of the Pitmen's matchday set-up on and off the pitch were severely disrupted before kick-off, as a series of bad news stories wrecked any pre-match plans. Firstly, there was news of an injury to Wayne Riley, who missed out after starting every game so far this term. Aaron Rey came in up front to deputise for the striker. This was followed soon after by news that the club had failed to pack their red away shirts, only bringing their white home shirts to create a clash with Ferriby's white shirts. this meant the Pitmen had to resort to playing in a curious mix of their own red shorts and socks, paired with Ferriby's unwashed yellow away shirts

The final blow came just before kick-off, as skipper Darren Campion was also ruled out due to injury, with Alex Melbourne stepping into the unfamiliar left-back role to replace Campion. Dave MacPherson reprised the captaincy role that he shared with Campion for most of last season

Ferriby came into the game in a confident mood, having been the first team this term to score against the much-fancied Brackley Town last weekend in a 1-1 draw. The dangerous forward duo of Nathan Jarman and Anthony Wilson - aided by last season's Evo-Stik Premier top scorer Ryan Kendall on the bench - had already proved a handful of a number of experienced Skrill North defences with their powerful forward play

The turmoil that had greeted the Pitmen during the pre-match warm-up appeared to affect them at kick-off, as Ferriby stole into the lead with the first attack of the game. A hotly disputed throw-in on the Ferriby right was awarded to the hosts, despite it appearing to have been kicked out by a man in a white shirt. Paul Robinson's throw-in was not dealt with by the Pitmen, allowing Jamie Yates to curl the ball past Dan Crane and into the far corner of the net from the corner of the penalty area

It could have been 2-0 within three minutes, as Dan Crane was called upon to make a confident punch to clear Danny Hone's shot at goal

In fairness to the away side, they shrugged the early setback off and had arguably the better of the play in the opening half-hour, as they went in search of a swift response to going behind so early. Kris Taylor did his best to get his side back on level terms on eleven minutes, trying his luck from range with a swerving shot that was pushed wide by Adam Nicklin in the Ferriby goal

Two minutes later, Taylor was involved again, as he picked up the ball just outside the penalty area and fired high over the crossbar with his rising shot

The hard-working Neil Harvey was doing everything he could  to create openings for himself and Rey with his movement and pace and went closest to levelling matters on seventeen minutes as he nipped in behind the Ferriby defence and lifted a shot over Nicklin, only for his effort to drop onto the top of the net

Nicklin was called upon to make a tremendous save a minute later, as Taylor's curling effort looked destined for the left-hand corner of the net, only for Nicklin to make an impressive left-handed save to turn Taylor's effort away for a corner

Ferriby's Paul Robson had to be alert on the half-hour mark, making a crucial clearance to deny John Disney a clear shot on goal after Rey's cross was played into the path of the onrushing right back

The officials had not covered themselves in glory during a muddled first half, with a lack of communication key to contradictory decisions for and against both sides. Melbourne was swiftly booked for protesting one such decision on thirty-five minutes, as the assistant referee correctly awarded the Pitmen a goal kick after the ball was played out, only for the referee to award Ferriby a corner kick

As half time approached, the Pitmen were undone once again by the pace of Wilson, as the striker carried on his goalscoring form against the visitors from last season with a killer second goal; a ball through from Yates set Wilson away, with the big forward holding off a challenge from Ben Bailey to fire past Crane

There was still time for the referee's decision making to be called into question once again in added time, as Rey escaped the attentions of the Ferriby defence and bore down on goal. He appeared to be taken down by Nicklin as he danced around him, with many Hednesford fans expecting a penalty to be awarded. Amazingly, Mr Tankard decided to wave play on, rather than give the Pitmen a legitimate chance to get back into the game

Crane had to be alert in the first minute of the second half, as Jarman fired across goal and forced Crane to turn the ball away with his right hand

the second half was to be a far less controversial or eventful affair, with the midfield area becoming a real war of attrition. With that in mind, the Pitmen made an attacking change on the hour mark, with Nathan Woolfe replacing the tiring MacPherson

 Bailey was in the wars for the Pitmen on sixty-four minutes, picking up an injury to his nose after a clash inside the Ferriby penalty area. A patched-up Bailey went close to reducing the deficit two minutes later, rising highest to head a Taylor corner wide of goal

The Pitmen made a further attacking change with fifteen minutes remaining, with Charlie Anagho-Ntamark coming on up front to replace Rey

Disney is still waiting for his first goal for the Pitmen, as his low effort two minutes later beat Nicklin's left-hand post by about a foot

Youngster Robbie Thompson-Brown was the Pitmen's final substitution of the afternoon, as he came on in favour of Taylor with ten minutes remaining

Thompson-Brown's ten-minute cameo was another eventful affair for the former Kidderminster man, as firstly he slashed at the ball thirty yards out and completely missed it, followed a minute later by a booking for an over-aggressive challenge in the centre circle

With the Pitmen pushing for anything to get them back into the game, they were undone by a swift counter-attack from Ferriby with three minutes to go. Robson, Liam King and Dean Lisles all combined to play Wilson clean through, slotting past an exposed Crane from ten yards out for his second goal of the afternoon

All in all, a rare disappointing off day for Rob Smith's Pitmen, who never looked comfortable from the opening minute onwards. With a full week to recover, they will be looking for an immediate response when Vauxhall Motors visit Keys Park next weekend in Skrill North

North Ferriby United: Nicklin, Robson, Peat, King , Anderson (M. Wilson 75), Hine, Clarke, Fry ©, A. Wilson, Jarman (Kendall 70), Yates (Lisles (69)      Subs Unused: White, D’Laryea

Hednesford Town: Crane, Disney , Melbourne , Bailey, Francis, MacPherson ©, (Woolfe 63), Osborne, Durrell, Harvey, Rey (Anagho-Ntamark 75), Taylor (Thompson-Brown 81)     Subs Unused: Barnes, Campion

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