Skrill North

Hednesford Town

North Ferriby United

A. Wilson (43)

(0) 0

(1) 1



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Robbie Thompson-Brown


Boston United (H) 11.1.14

Hednesford Town's recent downturn in form now threatens to derail their once-promising first season back in Skrill North, as they crashed to a third successive defeat against old Evo-Stik Premier League rivals North Ferriby United this afternoon

Manager Rob Smith, still looking for that elusive early season chemistry that had served his side so well up to December, made more changes to his starting line-up by rotating his squad once again. Ben Bailey was the man to give way for the returning Darren Campion in defence, with the club skipper restored to his left-back role after serving a one-match suspension in the New Years Day defeat to AFC Telford. Robbie Thompson-Brown was rewarded for his bright cameo at Telford with a starting berth, coming in in place of Dave MacPherson. Marvin Robinson also missed out after a slight niggle in the warm-up ruled him out - Neil Harvey came in to replace the big man up front, playing alongside loanee Nathan Blissett

Ferriby - flying high once again after a consistent start to life at step two - arrived at Keys Park with a shot at the top spot, with current leaders Telford facing a tricky looking trip to Harrogate Town. Billy Heath's men had continued their goalscoring form of last term, with Anthony Wilson, Ryan Kendall and new boy Nathan Jarman scoring freely to take the Villagers towards a second successive promotion

A bright start from the Pitmen, backed by a very healthy 600+ crowd, saw them enjoy plenty of possession in the opening ten minutes, although it was Ferriby who had the first chance on six minutes; a cross from the right found the head of Gregg Anderson, whose goalbound effort was palmed away by Dan Crane before Tom Thorley completed the clearance under pressure from Jarman

Hednesford responded with their strongest suit - Elliott Durrell's delivery from dead-ball situations. Two successive corners on fifteen minutes gave Ferriby problems as they attempted to clear their lines, with the second corner dropping to Campion, whose driven shot was easily fielded by Adam Nicklin in the Ferriby goal

Ferriby's Danny Hone had to be alert on twenty-one minutes to see off the threat of Durrell, with the centre back just getting to the ball ahead of the Hednesford midfielder as Durrell threatened to break through

Successive fouls on Harvey by Hone tested the referee's patience, with ironic cheers coming from the Keys Park crowd on twenty-eight minutes when Hone finally went into the book for persistent fouling

Despite neat build-up play involving Kris Taylor, Thorley and Blissett, the Pitmen were unable to make the breakthrough a stubborn Ferriby back line that had only conceded twenty-five goals in twenty-one games so far this term. Durrell was wasteful once again with a wild effort off-target that went out of play for a throw-in as he got his shot all wrong from long range

Durrell did eventually find his range and test Nicklin on forty minutes, but his weak bobbled shot was easily dealt with by the Ferriby number one

For all the comfort in which they had kept the Hednesford attack at arm's length, Ferriby had offered very little going forwards but struck what was to be a lethal blow for the Pitmen just before half time. Danny Clarke got the better of Campion out on the Ferriby right, turning inside the left-back and sending over a superb cross that was powerfully headed home by Wilson, who rose beyond the attentions of Francino Francis and Paul McCone to score

After three successive games of second-half capitulation, Hednesford looked far more focused after the restart, with Blissett playing in Harvey with a neat pass on fifty-two minutes; the striker's shot was saved by Nicklin, who again was not overly tested by the Pitmen

This was to be Harvey's final action of the game, as he was taken off on fifty-four minutes as Smith introduced the width and trickery of Nathan Woolfe

This proved to be a rare error of judgment from Smith, as Blissett became stranded up front on his own as Anderson and central defensive partner Hone eased him out of the game. Woolfe spent much of the half isolated out on the right-wing, with much of the play concentrated on the other flank

Ferriby's Dean Lisles went into the book for a foul on the hour mark, with Durrell's resultant free-kick headed narrowly over the bar by Francis

Many on the Wimblebury side of the ground felt that Lisles should have been shown another yellow card on sixty-six minutes, as his dangerous studs-up challenge on Campion left the Hednesford skipper in a heap on the bye-line. After a bout of pushing and handbags, the referee somehow failed to book the Ferriby right-back and only awarded the Pitmen a throw-in

Ferriby remained a threat on the break, with Wilson taking the ball off Francis in an advanced position and firing in a shot that McCone did well to get cross to and turn away for a corner kick

With fifteen minutes remaining, Ferriby substitute Kendall tried his luck with a dipping shot that Crane did well to track back and turn over the crossbar

Five minutes later, Michael Lennon made a rare appearance in a Hednesford shirt as he came on in place of the ineffective Thorley, thus restoring the Pitmen's two-man attack

It mattered little, though, as the Pitmen huffed and puffed their way through a turgid final ten minutes that Ferriby saw off with ease. It was an impressive, professional showing from Ferriby, something we have seen on a number of occasions from them in the last eighteen months, with the Villagers looking good for a shot at the Skrill North title on this performance

For the Pitmen, a third successive defeat leaves them bottom of the form table for the last four weeks, with their last win coming nearly three weeks ago against Bradford. They have shipped thirteen goals in this period and look devoid of confidence with any high ball into their box. Smith has two training sessions to oversee in the next week before Boston United visit Keys Park next Saturday in what will no doubt be another severe test of the Pitmen's current low morale and confidence

Hednesford Town: Crane, Disney, Campion ©, McCone, Francis, Taylor, Thompson-Brown, Durrell, Harvey (Woolfe 54), Blissett, Thorley (Lennon 80)       Subs Unused: Melbourne, MacPherson, Bailey

North Ferriby United: Nicklin, Lisles , Peat, King, Anderson ©, Hone , Clarke, D’Laryea, A. Wilson , (M. Wilson 90), Jarman (Kendall 73), Yates (Fry 83)       Subs Unused: Clayton, Pecora