top of page


Pitching In Northern Premier League West

Hednesford Town

Prescot Cables

Yeomans (15) (OG), Murphy (89)

(0) 0

(1) 2



Current Form

Next Match


Sam Griffiths



Bootle (A) 18.11.23

Hednesford's mini-revival is halted in its tracks this afternoon as Harry Harris's side turn in a feeble performance that hands Prescot Cables an easy three points that enables them to move to the top of the league table

Successive battling draws in the league under Harris's management had given the Pitmen's supporters renewed hope that they could finally register their first home win of the season today, having not won a league game on their own patch since April. The new Hednesford manager had been busy in the transfer market during the week, bringing in attacking midfielder Kaden May from Boldemere St. Michaels, striker Callum Niven from Lichfield City and utility man Jamie Spiers on loan from Alvechurch. May and Niven had to be content with a place amongst the substitutes, with Spiers handed a start up front in place of the suspended Demetri Brown as the first of three changes to the side that had started last week's 1-1 draw at Avro; Jez Abbey returned to the side in place of the injured Reinaldo Forbes whilst Tom Armitage came in for his first start since returning to the club ahead of Callam Mendez-Jones

Second-placed Prescot were in the middle of a fine unbeaten run, having not lost in their last eight games to move them level on points with current leaders Clitheroe heading into today's round of games. Manager Steve Daley made two changes of his own from Cables' 1-1 draw against local rivals Widnes last weekend as Francis Smith came in for Nathan Koehler and Liam Hollett replaced Jay Devine

It was a beautifully bright and sunny early winter day, although there was a nip in the air as temperatures steadily dropped into single figures during the week. Prescot looked to start on the front foot from the off as they pressed down both planks in the opening minutes. A good run from Kyle Sambor in the fourth minute saw him get the better of Lucas Yeomans and look to cross for the incoming John Murphy, only for the excellent Sam Griffiths to turn the ball behind for a corner kick

From the resultant corner kick, James Foley's inswinging cross from the left drifted over the head of on-loan goalkeeper Ryan Brown and out for a goal kick

Kicking towards the Hednesford end in the first period, Cables pressed once more in the eighth minute as Murphy held off the attentions of Ritchie Sutton and laid the ball off to Sam O'Halleron, whose effort was blocked by the presence of Griffiths and cleared

Spiers was finding the going tough as the Pitmen's new auxiliary striker in the absence of Demetri Brown, struggling against the Prescot central defenders who were proved to be too tough and too experienced for the youngster to get any change from. The 20-year-old did briefly get in front of skipper Hollett in the twelfth minute as he raced into an Armitage pass, but could not bring the ball under his control and Cables cleared their lines

The Pitmen's well-documented flakiness at the back was to prove their undoing for the umpteenth time in the fifteenth minute of the game as they gifted  Cables the game's opening goal with another terribly embarrassing moment to forget. Jack Goodwin did well down the right, holding off the attentions of Armitage and whipped in a cross into the Hednesford six-yard box. Yeomans came across to deal with the ball but could only watch in horror as he sliced his attempted clearance into his own net from a couple of yards out

With their tails up, the fitter, stronger and more organised hosts went in search of a quickfire double against their backtracking, nervy hosts. Former Ramsbottom United man Murphy was involved once more on nineteen minutes as he got on the end of a Sambor ball but was shepherded away from goal by some timely jockeying from Sutton

On twenty minutes, last season's top scorer O'Halleron tested the reflexes of Ryan Brown as Murphy broke into the penalty area and laid the ball back to his strike partner, whose low-driven shot was held by the on-loan Kidsgrove stopper

Midway through the first half, more good wing play from Goodwin saw him tie Yeomans up in knots once more and cross towards the incoming Franny Smith, who was inches away from making a connection at the far post as the ball drifted out of play just in front of the midfielder

A rare chance for the Pitmen to play the ball into the Prescot penalty area came on twenty-six minutes as James McQuilkin won a free-kick towards the right-hand corner of the Cable penalty area. Tom Thorley took the resultant free-kick but tamely chipped his cross straight into the arms of the unchallenged Mitch Allen in the Prescot goal. Dreadful from the experienced midfield man, with some of the fans in the Heath Hayes terrace letting him know what they thought in no uncertain terms as he trotted back into position

A half-chance fell at the feet of Spiers shortly after the half-hour mark as Armitage's angled pass into the penalty area was seized upon by the loanee, who seemed to be momentarily put off by Joe Morley's run across him as he tamely toe-poked his effort straight at Allen from fifteen yards out

Muprhy was continuing to give the Pitmen problems with his movement, linking up well with Goodwin on the left-hand side of the Hednesford penalty area on thirty-four minutes before Desean Martin made a timely clearance with a no-nonsense up and under to boot the ball away from the six-yard box and the clutches of O'Halleron

Martin - having already totted up several cards so far this season - added another caution to his unwanted record on thirty-six minutes as he was booked by referee Mr Wall for a crude challenge on Goodwin

Brown kept the Pitmen in contention with another good save on forty-one minutes, tipping Murphy's shot away from goal down to his left after the striker had bustled his way past Sutton and got his shot away from the edge of the penalty area

The Pitmen's only real sight at goal fell at the feet of the experienced McQuilkin with two minutes of the first half remaining as Morley did well down the left flank and pulled the ball back across the face of goal from the byeline, only for the veteran midfielder to scuff his shot wide of the post with a first-time effort

In first-half added time, Goodwin forced Brown into another fine save as the winger danced past the hapless Yeomans once more and curled in a shot at goal from eighteen yards out that the young goalkeeper tipped away from goal down to his left-hand side

The Pitmen had been desperately short of any confidence or quality in the final third of the pitch - Spiers had struggled against two big and experienced centre-backs with no real supply line from a disappointingly flat and leggy midfield. Harris chose to take the already-booked Martin off before the start of the second half as he introduced Mikey Nelson to the fray on the right flank and moved McQuilkin back into his preferred central role in midfield

The dominant nature of Cable's approach to the game continued in the second half as the visitors hit the woodwork with their first effort after the break on fifty-one minutes. A powerful, thrusting move forward opened the Pitmen up as Anthony Donaldson played the ball into the feet of Smith, who got the ball out of his feet and drilled in a low shot that came back off the base of Brown's right-hand post

A minute later, Goodwin drew a foul out of Yeomans on the left to earn Cables a free-kick just outside the penalty area. The winger took the free-kick himself and curled his angled effort into the side netting from twenty yards out

With no discernable improvement to his side in the first ten minutes of the second half, Harris chose to make his final two substitutions at the same time on fifty-five minutes as Joe Thompson came on in place of the disappointing Abbey and May replaced the similarly ineffective Morley on the left flank

Sambor earned Cables' first booking of the afternoon a minute later as he petulantly threw the ball away to stop the Pitmen from taking a free-kick quickly and was cautioned by Mr Wall

Thorley's indifferent afternoon from set-pieces continued on fifty-seven minutes as he once again tamely chipped a corner kick straight onto the head of Hollett, who cleared with ease at his near post

Thompson - last week's goal hero at Avro - looked to make inroads on the Prescot defence midway through the second half as he got on the end of a good move involving Yeomans and McQuilkin but got his laces underneath the ball and lifted his effort high over the crossbar from twenty-five yards out

Cables made their first change of the afternoon on sixty-seven minutes as former Tranmere Rovers midfielder Jay Devine returned to the side as he came on in place of O'Halleron

The Pitmen looked to catch cables on the counter-attack on seventy minutes as Thorley cleared a Prescot corner kick and found Nelson in space. The substitute - who had struggled to get into the game against a stoic Prescot defence - made a driving run into the Prescot half before being brought down by Goodwin's clumsy covering tackle, leading to a yellow card for the Prescot winger

Spiers' best chance of the afternoon came on seventy-three minutes as Nelson did well down the right, driving past Matty Devine and crossing for the youngster, whose first-time effort whistled wide of Allen's left-hand post from close range

Hollett handed the Pitmen another chance to load the penalty area on seventy-six minutes as he brought Spiers down just outside the Cables penalty area, earning himself a yellow card in the process. Alas, Thorley once again failed to supply anything close to a dangerous ball in as he clipped another weak free-kick straight onto the head of Alex McNally before Cables completed the clearance

Thorley was handed a chance to have a shot at goal with the next move forward on seventy-seven minutes as the Pitmen worked the ball from right to left through Nelson and McQuilkin, playing the ball into the path of Thorley to the left-hand side of the penalty area. However, the midfielder struck a weak and unconvincing shot at goal that was easily held by Allen to his right-hand side

With eleven minutes remaining, Cables made their second change of the game as ex-Witton Albion forward Sambor was brought off and replaced by Luke Pritchard

Brown continued to keep the Pitmen in contention late on in the game, making another save on eighty-one minutes to hold a low shot from Pritchard on his goal line after the former Preston North End midfielder had found some space on the edge of the penalty area to get his shot away with what was his first touch of the game

With Thorley having had a nightmare afternoon from set-pieces, Thompson assumed the responsibility for a Hednesford free-kick just outside the Prescot penalty area on eighty-four minutes after Spiers had been brought down by Donaldson. The substitute's low shot was well-struck, skimming past the Prescot wall but flashing inches wide of Allen's left-hand post

Allen picked up a booking from Mr Wall with five minutes remaining as the Prescot goalkeeper took far too long to line up a goal kick and was cautioned for time-wasting

With the Pitmen looking to press for a leveller in the final minutes of the game, another heinous error in defence handed Prescot the buffer of a second goal in the final minute of the game. Yeomans's throw-in found Brown inside his six-yard box, with the goalkeeper quickly closed down by Murphy as he looked to dribble the ball across his six-yard box. Having got his feet in a muddle from being panicked into a clearance, Brown tamely allowed the striker to steal the ball off him and gleefully turning the ball into the empty net from a matter of inches out

This was to prove to be Murphy's final act of the game as he was taken off to generous applause from the small band of travelling fans before play restarted and replaced by Tom Owens

Deep into added time, a challenge on Thorley by McNally prompted an angry response from the Hednesford midfielder and a bout of pushing and shoving between both sets of players. Mr Wall elected to book both players for their involvement in the fracas before awarding the Pitmen a free-kick on the left-hand side of the pitch

It had been a dreadfully on-dimensional display from a very poor Hednesford side that had lacked any confidence, creativity or desire to match Cables in any physical capacity. Cables move to the top of the table courtesy of a surprise defeat for Clitheroe at Hanley Town, whilst defeat leaves the Pitmen marooned at the foot of the table and still a full six points from safety, having played a game more than anyone around them. It has to be said that some players in white simply didn't look up for today's game and shirked much of the physical labour around them, allowing a more powerful, organised and simply fitter Cables side to ease to the win. Harris had made mention of his side needing to be fitter and stronger but today's display was very much at odds with the manager's desire to make Hednesford more competitive; expect more rapid player movements in the next seven days before the Pitmen make their second trip of the season to the Berry Street Garage Stadium, this time to face landlords Bootle who lie just outside the play-off places


Hednesford Town: R. Brown, Yeomans, Armitage, Thorley , Griffiths ©, Sutton, McQuilkin, Martin (Nelson 45),  Spiers, Abbey (Thompson 55), Morley (May 55)     Subs Unused: Williams, Niven

Prescot Cables: Allen, McNally, M. Devine, Donaldson, Hollett ©, Smith, Goodwin, Foley, Murphy (Owens 90), O'Halleron (J. Devine 67), Sambor (Pritchard 79)      Subs Unused: Koehler, McMahon


Images © copyright Pitmenweb

bottom of page