16.10.2021

Pitching In Southern Premier League Central

Hednesford Town

A. Brown (27), Parker (69)

Redditch United

Sweeney (50) (penalty), Ferron (83)

(1) 2

(0) 2

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Shaquille Master

 D D L D W L L W D D

 

St. Ives Town (A) 23.10.21

The Pitmen are once again held to a 2-2 draw at home for the second successive weekend as Redditch United come from behind twice to claim a point at the PRG Stadium @ Keys Park this afternoon

Having drawn 2-2 against Hitchin Town last Saturday, manager Keenen Meakin-Richards had cleared the decks during the week with the release of young quartet Rob Hanna, Joshveer Shergill, Jack Chambers and Callum King-Harmes. For today's game, Meakin-Richards was without the trio of Reece Flanagan, Ben Bailey and Andy Wycherley, joining their fellow experienced players Sam Griffiths, Jed Davies, George Cater and Ryan Pryce on the sidelines. There was good news, however, as both Callam Mendez-Jones and Courtney Richards returned to the side after their recent injury issues. Mendez-Jones came straight back into the side as one of four changes to last week's XI as he replaced the suspended Bailey, Jono Brown replaced Wycherley in goal, Wes Atkinson came in for the dropped Kyle Rowley and recent signing James Hill made his full debut in place of Flanagan

Redditch made the short journey up from Worcestershire sitting in fourteenth position in the table, having drawn 1-1 at Needham Market last weekend. Experienced manager Matt Clarke made two changes of his own for today's derby as Ryan George and debutant Doncaster Rovers loanee AJ Greaves came in ahead of Dan Djurovic and Tom Rankin respectively

It was a bright and sunny afternoon at Keys Park, with the Pitmen making inroads down the left flank in the first minute through Carter Lycett. His low cross into the near post was claimed by Kieran Boucher, who nicked the ball off the toe of the incoming Andre Brown to deny the striker his first goal at home this season

It was to prove a slow burner of a game as both sides enjoyed plenty of possession midfield without really challenging the other teams' goalkeeper in the process. Andre Brown did well to control a pass into him from Atkinson in the eighth minute, turning past Luke Day but firing his half-volley high over the crossbar

Former Hednesford man Dan Sweeney was having an impact for the away side, chasing down loose balls and giving the hesitant Pitmen back line issues as they looked to play the ball around at the back. His first of a collection of fouls came in the eleventh minute as he shut down the space in front of Atkinson but brought the player down as he tried to wrestle the ball from the former West Bromwich Albion man

Redditch's first sight at goal came in the fourteenth minute as they won a free-kick thirty yards from goal; skipper Ryan Wollacott took the kick but got a little too much on it and cleared the crossbar with his curling ball into the box

Sweeney was spoken to by referee Mr Eley four minutes later as he once again committed an overly-aggressive challenge, this time on Lewis Ison, but somehow avoided having his name taken for the succession of fouls he had already committed

Chay Tilt exchanged passes with Andre Landell midway through the half and tricked his way past veteran full-back Asa Charlton, getting to the byeline and pulling his cross into the path of Brown, who was caught on his heels and could not get to the cross, seeing Day hook the ball away for a corner kick on the opposite side of the pitch

Landell was the first player to be booked in the game in the twenty-fifth minute, as he chased back into his own half to challenge Luke Rowe but brought the Redditch midfielder down with a clumsy tackle that was deemed booking-worthy by Mr Eley

The Pitmen got their noses in front two minutes later as the largely-anonymous Shaquille Master finally found some space down the left to create the home side's first goal of the afternoon; Tilt's cross from the right was headed away by Curtis Hutson and recovered by Master down by the corner flag on the opposite side. The winger beat Tiago and pulled the ball back into the six-yard box, where Andre Brown reacted quickest to side-foot the ball past Boucher from close-range for his second goal of the season

Back came the away side and a tidy piece of play involving the unorthodox Tiago and Sweeney set the former Hednesford man away on the half-hour as he ran onto Tiago's pass in behind the home defence. However, the former Solihull player's attempted lob over Jono Brown from the edge of the penalty area was off-target and drifted wide of the left-hand post

Tiago - a signing from Peterborough Sports last term - was proving to be a real thorn in the side for the Pitmen with his trickery and pace. He turned both Lycett and Mendez-Jones inside out on thirty-five minutes with a marauding run from the right-wing into the six-yard box, only for his cross to be cleared away by Ison as Sweeney looked to pounce

An intricate piece of passing play from the Pitmen on fifty minutes saw new skipper Todd Parker play the ball into the feet of Tilt, whose pass into Landell was played back into Parker. The youngster teed himself up for a shot but saw Wollacott in his way with a timely block just inside the Redditch penalty area

Former Hednesford man Charlton was perhaps a little fortunate to remain on the pitch a couple of minutes before the break as he appeared to catch Andre Brown with an elbow on the right touchline as the pair challenged for a high ball. This prompted a bout of pushing and shoving from both sets of players before referee Mr Eley showed the 43-year-old a yellow card

It had been a first-half low in quality from both sides, with chances being limited but the Pitmen taking the one that had mattered through Brown, who had been rewarded for working hard against the Redditch defence

The hosts started the second half on the front foot, with Master and Tilt switching wings to try and stretch the Redditch full-backs. On fifty-eight minutes, Ison's long throw was flicked on by Andre Brown before bouncing through to Tilt at the far post, whose acrobatic half-volley sailed over the crossbar from eight yards out

Terrible defending from the Pitmen on fifty minutes saw them gift the away side a route back into the game however, as a long header forwards from substitute Dan Djurovic was not dealt with well by either Ison or Mendez-Jones, handing possession to Greaves. He fed Tiago, whose run into the penalty area was halted illegally by a lazy flick of the leg from Mendez-Jones, bringing the player down in full flight and handing Redditch a penalty kick. Sweeney took the resultant penalty kick and confidently sent Jono Brown the wrong way from the spot before giving cupping his ears to the detractors in the home crowd

Jono Brown was suddenly the busier of the two goalkeepers, fielding a low daisy-cutter of a strike from Sweeney three minutes later as Tiago slipped the ball into the striker's path just outside the Hednesford penalty area

More awful defending from the Pitmen handed possession back to Redditch on fifty-seven minutes as both Atkinson and Ison lost the ball cheaply to Greaves, whose deep cross dropped onto the head of Sweeney, who headed over the bar from six yards out

On fifty-nine minutes, Parker won a free-kick to the right of the Redditch penalty area after drawing a foul from Kieran Day. Lycett's deep, curling free-kick found the head of Master at the far post, but his downward header was tame and dropped well wide of Boucher's far post

The Pitmen's first substitution of the afternoon came a minute later as the anonymous former AFC Wulfrunians midfield man Hill was replaced by the experienced Richards

A great run from Master on sixty-five minutes saw him make a great run down the left and leave Djurovic in his wake, cutting inside before unleashing a low shot that Boucher palmed away at his near post. Both Landell and Andre Brown tried to turn the ball home on the rebound but could not get enough purchase on the bouncing ball

Master produced an almost identical run and shot two minutes later as he once again turned Djurovic and skipped into the penalty area, only for this effort to take a nick off Wollacott and was easily fielded by Boucher

Cox should have done better for the visitors on sixty-eight minutes as a Greaves fie-kick out on the left was floated into the far post and headed back across goal by Charlton, but Cox could not keep his shot down and lifted his close-range effort over the crossbar

The Pitmen got their noses in front again a minute later through another fine strike from Parker - his second goal of the season and another long-range effort. The hosts patiently worked the ball down the right-wing through Landell and Tilt, with Tilt's deep cross partially headed away by Djurovic and into the path of Master. He teed up Parker, who made a late run into the penalty area to cleanly strike a low shot beyond the reach of Boucher and into the net to make it 2-1

The hosts were in the midst of their best spell of the game and looked to kill the game off with a third goal. A run from Atkinson on seventy-two minutes saw him get into the Redditch penalty area and pull the ball back into the path of Andre Brown, whose acrobatic effort at the far post flew well wide of the upright

With fifteen minutes remaining, Hednesford were handed a golden opportunity to put the game beyond Redditch as they were awarded what looked a fairly soft penalty kick; Master's low cross into the area from the left was looking for Landell, who went down under pressure from Rowe. Mr Eley had no hesitation in awarding the hosts a spot-kick for the foul, despite protests from the men in pink. Top scorer Landell - scorer of penalties at both Stourbridge and Alvechurch back in August - took the resultant penalty and struck a firm low effort to Boucher's left, which the stopper guessed right and palmed the ball away from goal. Decent strike, fine save

Jono Brown followed Landell into the book a minute later as he volleyed a loose ball away from the clutches of the Redditch players as they looked to try and take a corner kick quickly

Andre Brown had worked hard for the Pitmen all afternoon up against the Redditch back line, drawing fouls and dragging them around the penalty area. He won yet another free-kick for the hosts with ten minutes remaining as he was clattered by Day after holding the ball from Parker's pass. Master took the resultant free-kick and opted for power over precision and fired straight into the wall from a promising position

However, more utterly feeble defending from the hosts gave Redditch another lifeline with seven minutes of the game remaining. Lycett was guilty of over-playing as he brought the ball out and lost the ball cheaply to Tiago, who played the ball to Day - his threaded through ball caught the Hednesford defence square; substitute Jade Ferron was first to react, running in behind a lax Atkinson and Ison to sidefoot the ball beyond the onrushing Jono Brown from fifteen yards out

A minute later, teenager Joe Morley was finally given his chance to enter the field of play as he came on in place of Landell, who still looked frustrated at missing his earlier spot-kick

Redditch defended well in the closing stages against a Hednesford side that knew it was on the brink of throwing away two points through their lacklustre defending. Andre Brown had a half-chance fall to him with a couple of minutes remaining but dragged his shot well wide of Boucher's left-hand post from twelve yards out after being played in by Master

A point gained, but two more also dropped for the home side, who have now won only two of their last eleven games in the league and F.A. Cup. They will look to rectify their shaky run of form next weekend as they travel to struggling St. Ives Town, possibly with one or two new faces to refresh the ranks and offer more competitiveness to a side that is starting to fall away from the pack at the top of the league

Hednesford Town: J. Brown , Atkinson, Lycett, Mendez-Jones, Ison, Hill (Richards 60 ), Tilt, Parker ©, A. Brown, Landell  (Morley 84), Master     Subs Unused: Rowley, Burns, Williams

Redditch United: Boucher, George (Djurovic 43), Wollacott ©, Day, Cox, Charlton , Rowe, Sweeney, Tiago, Greaves (Rankin 69), Jemmett-Hutson (Ferron 78)      Subs Unused: Roke, Sanogo

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