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Zamaretto Southern Premier League

Rugby Town

Gearing (4)

Hednesford Town

Durrell (36), (70), Dyer (51), McGurk (54), Francis (56), Francis (59)

(1) 1

(1) 6



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Elliott Durrell


Farnborough (A) 22.4.10

Hednesford moved within striking distance of the Zamaretto Premier League play-offs this evening with another six-goal demolition of relegated Rugby Town - their second in little over a fortnight


Manager Bernard McNally, trying to keep his weary side fresh for the run-in, made three changes to the side that drew against Banbury on Saturday; back in came skipper Sean Platt, left-back Aaron Gibson and Ross Dyer, replacing Matty Wood, Cheyenne Dunkley and Josh Craddock respectively

Lee Colkin's young Rugby side had long succumbed to relegation after an utterly rotten season for the sky blues that had seen them fail to even chalk up double figures in the points column. A brief spell of good form recently had seen consecutive wins over Didcot Town and Tiverton Town, but Saturday had seen Colkin's men come crashing back to earth with a 6-0 hammering at Stourbridge. Colkin handed striker Kuda Chiseche a debut in place of Jordan Richards up front in the only change to the side that had started at the Amblecote

On a nippy evening at Butlin Road, Hednesford made light of their recent heavy workload by forcing Rugby onto the backfoot early on. Ben Bailey was first to state his, and the Pitmen's, intentions, with a great header from Elliott Durrell's corner in the second minute that was just wide of goal

Dyer was next to test Rugby's resolve, picking up the ball midway inside the Rugby half before hitting a firm shot that was well held by Rugby goalkeeper Andrew Stevens

Despite this bright start, it was the hosts who took a shock lead on four minutes in spectacular style. Chiseche played the ball into the box to find Matt Gearing, who tried the unorthodox and executed a brilliant overhead kick past a bemused Stuart Brock

Back came the stunned Pitmen, with Durrell beating off two half-hearted challenges before unleashing a powerful shot from just outside the area that was held by Stevens with some difficulty

With twelve minutes on the clock, Dyer broke free on the right-hand side, skipping past a Rugby defender and sending over a flighted ball that dipped wide of the far post

The first quarter was all Hednesford, but try as they might, they could not find the breakthrough. Tyrone Barnett blazed over the crossbar after picking up Proffitt's ball eighteen yards out, closely followed by a run and rising shot from Adam McGurk that Stevens watched into the crowd

Barnett went closer than anyone in a white shirt to scoring by heading wide from close range after getting on the end of Durrell's corner on twenty minutes

Rugby had spent most of the opening half-hour in their own half, but amazingly could have found themselves two-nil up on twenty-eight minutes; David Kolodynski gambled on a cross, beating the hesitant Hednesford defence to the ball, but made a real hash of his shot and put the ball wide of goal with only Brock to beat

Hednesford seized upon this let-off and equalised nine minutes before half time. Sean Castleton was shrugged off the ball by Durrell, who rounded the advancing Stevens and slid the ball home

Rugby almost gifted the Pitmen a half time lead in added time, with Stevens turning away a goalbound touch from defender Chris Tullin to gift the Pitmen a corner

McNally's half time pep talk seemed inspired, as within the first fifteen minutes of the second half they simply blew Rugby away. Liam Francis headed Durrell's free-kick onto the post within a minute of the restart, before the Pitmen found their scoring touch in devastating style

On fifty-one minutes, they took the lead for the first time in the game; Durrell chipped the ball into the near post, allowing Dyer to divert the ball cleverly past Stevens

The Pitmen were rampant, and three minutes later added a third goal. Barnett spotted McGurk's forward run, laying the ball perfectly into the Northern Irishman's path. McGurk confidently slotted past Stevens from twelve yards out to end a flowing move that opened Rugby up

Barely 100 seconds later, and the Pitmen were celebrating a fourth goal of the evening. Proffitt jinked his way to the bye-line, before standing the ball up for Francis, who had the simple task of heading home from close range

And still, there was more; Just before the hour mark, Barnett was presented with arguably the easiest goal of another prolific season, tapping into an empty net after good work from Dyer in and around the penalty area

With the game now looking won, McNally took the opportunity to make a change, bringing on Craddock for McGurk on sixty-seven minutes in midfield

Dyer almost piled more misery on Rugby on sixty-nine minutes, firing over the bar with a dipping shot from the edge of the area 

With twenty minutes to go, the Pitmen grabbed their sixth goal of the evening, with Dyer again the provider. His run onto Craddock's through ball found him clear of the Rugby defence, with the striker laying the ball off to Durrell, who slid the ball past the exposed Stevens for his second of the evening

Durrell's evening was brought to an end on seventy-four minutes, with Zak Martin introduced in place of the Pitmen's man of the match

The Pitmen continued to press, with Craddock trying his luck with a long-range shot eight minutes from time; he was denied by Stevens, who had had a busy night in goal, turning the ball over for a corner

Stevens denied Barnett yet another goal in added time, getting down low to turn his shot around the post

With two games to go, it's likely to go down to the wire with Chippenham Town also winning tonight to add to the tension in and around the play-off places. If they are to make it, the Pitmen will have to do it the hard way as they travel to champions Farnborough on Thursday before rounding off their campaign with another away trip on Saturday to fellow play-off chasers Cambridge City

Hednesford Town: Brock, Platt ©, Gibson, Bailey, Francis, Clements, Durrell (Martin 73), Proffitt (Chapman 80), Barnett, Dyer, McGurk (Craddock 67)       Subs Unused: Flynn, Wood


Rugby Town: Stevens, Gearing, Hollist, Tullin ©, Castleton, Birtwistle, Farrow, Youngs, Brown (J. Richards 57), Kolodynski, Chiseche (Kwieqyir 45)      Subs Unused: S. Richards, Bell


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