top of page


UniBond Northern Premier League

Prescot Cables

Hednesford Town

Barnett (10), (45), Dyer (12), Durrell (48), (85)

(0) 0

(3) 5



Current Form

Next Match


Elliott Durrell


Leigh Genesis (H) 25.4.09

Hednesford completed a comfortable double over relegated Prescot Cables this afternoon, leaving them with a glimmer of hope in their quest to make this season's play-offs on the final day of the season next weekend


Shorn of key players Ross Draper (suspended) and Decio Gomes (injured), manager Dean Edwards brought Ben Bailey in to cover for Gomes at the back, thus moving the under-pressure Tom Marshall into a central midfield berth, replacing skipper Draper and allowing Danny Harvey to return to the side at centre-back; the former youth team player also took the captain's armband from the suspended Draper for today's game

It had been a rotten season for Cables, who had been marooned in the relation zone for the majority of the season as they wrestled with the league's lowest budget and some of the lowest attendances. Manager Andy Gray was forced into a change between the posts from the defeat to local rivals Cammel Laird on Monday as injury to Andy Paxton saw sixteen-year-old Phil Hunt line up for his Cables debut, becoming the club's youngest first-team player in the process and the sixth incumbent of the number one shirt this term

Following the double defeat of the previous week, confidence was low amongst players and supporters alike, so a fixture against a side with probably even less confidence was just what the doctor ordered for Hednesford. Within the first ten minutes, the away side had got the breakthrough they required. After Elliott Durrell had fired in a 'sighter' straight at a Prescot defender, the Pitmen took advantage of the inexperienced Hunt in the Cables goal with the opener on ten minutes. Ludovic Quistin latched onto a Marshall ball, before heading the ball into the path of Ross Dyer. Dyer's run and shot was saved by Hunt, but the sixteen-year-old debutant made a terrible hash of the save, dropping the ball at the feet of Tyrone Barnett, who gleefully tapped home

The Pitmen's familiar defensive frailties soon came to the fore, with Prescot's top scorer Darren Byers almost gifted an opportunity to equalise almost immediately, but he made a mess of his close-range shot and completely missed the target

The Pitmen immediately took the ball back down the other end and extended their lead on twelve minutes. Marshall's ball found Dyer, who managed to get away from his marker and charge into the area. Hunt did his best to stop Dyer, but he coolly stepped past the youngster and slotted the ball home from a narrow-angle to score the goal that put him joint top of the scoring charts in the UniBond League

Dyer could have put himself one clear of Nantwich's Michael Lennon two minutes later, as the Pitmen threatened to run riot on their beleaguered hosts. Maguire's cross from the right found the head of Dyer, but he could not direct it goalwards and missed by a few feet

The Pitmen continued to have the better of the chances mid-way through the half; Barnett should have scored with an off-target effort, followed closely by Marshall's miscued effort at the far post a few moments later

It seemed that everyone in a sky blue shirt fancied a piece of the action, and Maguire became the latest Hednesford player to try his luck with a low shot that was cleared before it could reach Hunt

After Dyer had failed to test Hunt from close range with a woeful effort over the bar, centre back Cedric Abraham became the latest Pitmen to have a shot after coming up for a corner kick; Sam Hall's corner kick was flicked on by Marshall, allowing the big defender to try his luck with a bicycle kick that cleared the crossbar from eight yards out

Hednesford's dominance of the game saw them wrap up the first half with a third goal. Hall's ball through to Barnett saw the striker evade two challenges and fire past the advancing Hunt for his second goal of the game. There was still time for Dyer to try for a fourth goal, but Hunt managed to make a save low down to his right to deny Dyer that elusive second goal to set him up for the Golden Boot

Half time seemed to have no real effect for the home side in terms of inspiring them, as they fell further behind just three minutes into the second half - courtesy of a bizarre strike from the ever-willing Durrell. A clever ball over the top of the defence snookered the centre backs of cables, allowing Durrell to race clear and one-on-one with Hunt. He took the ball around the youngster and was promptly clipped by Hunt as he shaped to shoot. With the supporters expecting the referee to blow and award a penalty to the Pitmen for the trip, a Prescot defender made a last-ditch attempt to clear the ball, that had bobbled towards goal. His scuffed clearance hit the grounded Durrell, who almost apologetically tapped the ball into the empty net whilst still on the ground

With the three points sewn up, the Pitmen took it a little easier in the second half, enjoying the April sunshine and knocking the ball around on the somewhat bobbly Hope Street surface. The home side seemed short of ideas and attacking options, with Byers clearly a player who can do a job for someone at this level again next season if he chooses. The closest the home side came to a goal was a flurry on the hour mark, with Jamie Croxton forcing Stuart Brock into his first meaningful save of the match, closely followed by a Phil Green miskick when it looked easier to get the ball on target

 Hunt partially redeemed himself for his nervy showing in the first half with a good save to deny Dyer on sixty-six minutes, turning the striker's header over for a corner kick. Edwards took the opportunity to rest his top scorer a few minutes later, with Matthew West making an appearance. In all, he made three changes, with teenager Mark Bandurak given his first-team debut after replacing Abraham

After Barnett had missed a real sitter just a yard out, Marshall and Durrell combined fifteen minutes from the end, but the little forward was blocked by the Prescot defence as he tried to get a shot in on goal

On came Rapinder Gill for Maguire as the game entered the final ten minutes or so, with the away side content to knock the ball around and look for gaps in a tired-looking Prescot defence. With five minutes left the ploy worked perfectly, with West racing onto a through ball and drawing Hunt out of his goal. Rather than look to open his Hednesford account, the former Coventry City player slid the ball to his left unselfishly to Durrell, who tapped into an empty net to complete the scoring

There was still time for another talking point as Prescot's Cameron Dalton was sent off in the final minute of the game for a poorly-timed challenge on Bailey on halfway to add to the home side's miserable afternoon

Although they require a small miracle, the win does at least see the Pitmen fighting into the final week of the season. A home game with another relegated side - Leigh Genesis - will be the last chance the Pitmen have to sneak a place in the play-offs, although Edwards' side will need plenty of snookers from other sides around them in the table for this unlikely set of events to play out

Prescot Cables: Hunt, Deakin, Smith (Owens 90), McCulloch ©, Bell, McIntosh, Croxton (Taylor 78), Green (Connolly 80), Byers, Dalton  (89)        Subs Unused: Mahama, Williams

Hednesford Town: Brock, Maguire (Gill 77), Quistin, Abraham (Bandurak 68), Harvey ©, Bailey, Hall, Durrell, Barnett, Dyer (West 74), Marshall         Sub Unused: Woolley

Images © copyright Pitmenweb

bottom of page