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UniBond Northern Premier League

Hednesford Town

May (62), W. Dyer (88)

Prescot Cables

Byers (54)

(0) 2

(0) 1



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Sam Hall


Worksop Town (H) 23.2.08

Hednesford chalked up their first win at Keys Park since October with a late, late rally against a Prescot Cables side who are struggling to avoid being    dragged into a relegation dogfight


There was one change to Phil Starbuck's side to the one that had started at Marine on Tuesday night as new signing Liam McDonald came straight into the team on the left wing after his move from Halesowen Town in midweek, with Chad Sheppard dropped to the bench following his reaction to being substituted at Marine on Tuesday night

Prescot were currently in the middle of a dreadful run of league form that was starting to see the chasing pack catch them below, having not won a league game in their past nine attempts. Manager Andy Gray make two changes to the side from last weekends 1-1 draw against Ilkeston Town as he desperately looked for a response from his side; Colin Flood came in for Lee Smith and James Croxton replaced Stephen Johnson

On a bright and sunny afternoon in Staffordshire, the Pitmen's positive start to the game was checked in the fifth minute as a moment of madness from Rob Davies saw the hosts reduced to ten men. Davies, making his home debut, flew into a challenge with manager's son Shaun Gray with his studs up and two-footed, flooring the midfielder as he missed the ball and wiped out the player. Referee - the aptly named Mr Davies - had little alternative but to send the Welsh Under-21 International off, with no one of a Hednesford persuasion in a position to really complain at the decision

However, it was arguably the only decision that Mr Davies got right all game, as he bemused all inside Keys Park with a string of highly dubious calls as the game progressed. His first bizarre decision of the afternoon came in the eighth minute as he decided that Prescot's Darren Byers was offside as he was played in by skipper Eddie Taylor, despite the assistant on the main stand side not raising his flag

Hednesford rallied despite their reduced numbers and created their first chance of the afternoon in the twelfth minute as skipper Wayne Dyer was denied by the reflexes of Prescot goalkeeper Zak Hibbert, who palmed the midfielder's powerful shot away from goal


New boy McDonald tricked his way into the area three minutes later down the left flank and cut inside a challenge from Flood but got his laces underneath the ball and fired over the crossbar from twelve yards out

Back came the visitors, who caught the Pitmen out with a swift counter-attack down the left wing through Johnson on eighteen minutes, only for him to cut the ball back behind both Byers and Eamonn Price

Five minutes later, Ben Brown headed firmly over the crossbar for the hosts as he met a cross from Sam Hall full-on at the near post but headed high over Hibbert's woodwork

Ross Dyer created an opening for himself on twenty-eight minutes as he did well to flick the ball over the head of Thomas Moore and bring it back under control, but lifted his shot over the crossbar from just outside the Cables penalty area

Rory May's presence saw him beat Karl Bell to a cross from McDonald just after the half-hour mark but headed just wide of goal from eight yards out with Hibbert beaten


Ross Dyer also went close two minutes later with a header from a similar position, as he met a cross from Pedro but saw his misdirected effort drift past the post once more

The Pitmen were on top and should have taken the lead on forty minutes as May played Ross Adams into space down the right with a clever chest down and lay-off. The full-back's deep cross was met by Ross Dyer, only for his header to end up the wrong side of the post when it seemed easier to score

With a minute of the half remaining, McDonald exchanged passes with Adams before sending over a low cross that May clumsily scuffed into the grateful arms of Hibbert from close-range

Half time probably came at the wrong time for the dominant Pitmen, as their momentum was cut short by the break. It allowed Gray to change his tactics at the break as they looked to take advantage of the extra man in the second period

Prescot made a good start to the half and Byers was given an early chance to open the scoring on forty-eight minutes as he seized upon a slip by Ben Brown to break into the Hednesford penalty area, only to drag his low shot well wide of Ben Scott's goal


The away side were rewarded for their enterprising start to the second half as took the lead on fifty-four minutes; A great ball through the centre of the Hednesford defence by Taylor allowed Byers a clear run on goal, picking up the ball and taking a touch before firing past the exposed Scott

Byers went close to putting Prescot clear of their hosts just two minutes later, as he raced clear of a static Hednesford defence but scuffed his effort wide of goal under pressure from Adams

Mr Davies, having a hapless game, gave Ben Brown a dressing down for a foul on fifty-six minutes in a case of mistaken identity as he took a ticking-off on behalf of Adams after the full-back had brought Byers down


The match official levelled up the numbers just before the hour mark by showing Price a second yellow card for deliberate handball in the Pitmen's penalty area as he attempted to block a quick break away from the hosts

This decision seemed to visibly lift the hosts who pushed Prescot back into their own third of the pitch. A spell of pressure on sixty-two minutes finally bore fruit as Sam Hall, having an excellent game at right-back, found Rory May with a throw to the near post, whose back-header looped over Hibbert and dropped in the far corner of the net to level matters once more


The Pitmen made what was their one and only change of the afternoon on sixty-five minutes as the tiring McDonald was taken off after an impressive shift down the left and was replaced by David Brown

Byers was guilty of a glaring miss inside the Pitmen's six-yard box a minute later, somehow failing to make the net bulge as he turned a cross from Smith wide of the post from close-range

The final twenty minutes of the game were essentially one-way traffic with both clubs now down to ten men, as the Pitmen camped inside the Prescot half looking for a winning goal. Ross Dyer's hapless afternoon in front of goal saw him strike a shot straight into the arms of Hibbert on seventy-three minutes following a cross from Pedro

Two minutes later, a well-worked free-kick involving Wayne Dyer and Pedro saw the Portuguese winger curl a shot over the Prescot wall but narrowly wide of the angle of post and crossbar

Wayne Dyer went close himself on eighty minutes as his stuck a crisp shot from the edge of the Prescot penalty area but saw his effort deflected away from goal by Bell for a Hednesford corner


Three minutes later, David Brown picked up a pass from Hall and tried his luck from pretty much the same position as Dyer had, only to pull his effort wide of Hibbert's goal

The Pitmen continued to pepper the Prescot goal with efforts as both Ross Dyer and May had shots cleared away from danger within ten seconds of each other as Prescot desperately looked to hang on to their point


It was left to Wayne Dyer to settle matters with two minutes to go as the skipper finally broke Prescot's resolve with a late winner for the Pitmen following another period of pressure; collecting a half-cleared ball thirty yards from goal, Dyer made a move forwards and sized up his effort before unleashing an unstoppable slow shot beyond the reach of Hibbert and into the corner of the net to send the home fans wild 

The Pitmen held on to claim their first league double of the season and add to the away side's recent woes, moving themselves up to eighth place in the table and leave Prescot hovering just above the relegation zone in the process. Worksop Town travel to Keys Park next weekend as the Pitmen look for back-to-back wins in the league for the first time since the opening week of the season back in August

Hednesford Town: Scott, Hall, Adams, Davies  (5), B. Brown, Birch, Pedro, W. Dyer ©, May, R. Dyer, McDonald (D. Brown 65)     Subs Unused: Nagington, Sheppard

Prescot Cables: Hibbert, Cooney, Flood, O’Donnell, Bell, Gray, Wade (Johnson 72), Taylor ©, Byers (Tierney 72), Price  , Croxton (McEwan 84)       Subs Unused: None

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