30.8.2021

Pitching In Southern Premier League Central

Rushall Olympic

Glover (45) (penalty)

Hednesford Town

Landell (39)

(1) 1

(1) 1

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

642

Lewis Ison

W W W D D

 

Cleethorpes Town (H) 4.9.21

The Pitmen's unbeaten start to the new season continues into September as they make it successive 1-1 draws in the Southern Premier League Central with a point at local rivals Rushall Olympic at Dales Lane this Bank Holiday Monday afternoon

Hednesford manager Keenen Meakin-Richards elected to make three changes to the side that had been pegged back late on by Biggleswade Town at the weekend as Jack Chambers and Callum King-Harmes were both handed their first starts of the season as well as Andre Landell as they replaced Kyle Rowley, Reece Flanagan and the injured George Cater respectively

The Pics returned home after a 3-2 win at Royston Town at the weekend that lifts them up into ninth place in the table. Manager Liam McDonald made three changes of his own ahead of kick-off as Mitchell Clarke, Shaquille Master and former Hednesford man Callum Coyle came into the side in place of Owen Parry, ex-Pitman Richard Batchelor and Rackeem Reid

In front of a fine crowd with both sides well backed, the game started at a frenetic place which saw former Hednesford favourite Danny Glover booked inside the first two minutes for leaving his foot in on Andy Wycherley as he chased the ball down

Wycherley was forced into making an early save to deny Rushall skipper Kristian Green in the fourth minute as neat build-up play involving another former Hednesford favourite Tom Thorley and Glover set the right-back away down the flank, cutting inside of Ryan Pryce but watching his low angled shot saved by the Hednesford stopper

The Pitmen responded with a neat spell of play down the right from Todd Parker, who drifted inside and played a couple of passes with King-Harmes and Andre Brown before drilling his low left-footed shot from the edge of the area straight into the arms of Tom Palmer

Former Hednesford loanee Coyle - who joined the Pics in the summer after leaving Stafford Rangers - was next to register a shot for the hosts in the twelfth minute as Glover's through ball played him in behind Lewis Ison, who managed to force him wide and shoot from a tight angle that Wycherley saved at his near post

The Pitmen were playing with real zip and pace across Rushall's 3G pitch, with Parker a notable performer with his neat and tidy distribution. One great pass into the path of Carter Lycett on eighteen minutes saw his fellow teenager bring the ball down and get the better of Green, only for his cross into the near post to be cleared by Mitchell Clarke as Brown bore down on him

Three minutes later, Pryce and Lycett linked up well as former Cardiff City man Pryce went beyond his young team-mate and sent over a fine cross that was a touch too high for Landell to nod home at the far post

The Pitmen's first corner kick of the game on twenty-five minutes saw Lycett swing in a delicious cross to the penalty spot that Ben Bailey got a flick onto, only for King-Harmes to fire well wide of goal on the follow-up

Wycherley was again called upon to make a smart save just before the half-hour mark as Glover did well to feed Master after holding off Ison. The summer signing from Leicester Nirvana beat King-Harmes and drove in a rising shot at goal that Wycherley held at the second attempt

A half-cleared Rushall corner kick fell to the feet of Glover five minutes later via a touch from Clarke, only for the striker's half-volley to deflect off the back of team-mate Alex Moore and drift wide of goal

The Pitmen had been patient in their build-up and approach play and were finally rewarded with the game's opening goal of the afternoon with six minutes of the first half remaining; a mazy run from Pryce saw the full-back drift inside from the wing and deep into the Rushall penalty area before having his progress halted by Clarke; he picked up the loose ball once more and laid it off the Landell, who struck a superb shot with the outside of his boot to curl the ball away from the reach of Palmer and find the far corner of the net from eight yards out for his third goal of the season

However, after getting their noses in front, the visitors were handed a cruel blow with just seconds remaining in the first period as Rushall were handed a highly contestable penalty kick; Moore's chipped pass into the Hednesford penalty area was aimed at Simeon Cobourne, who got goal side of Ison and attempted to clip the ball over Wycherley. The Hednesford stopper appeared to tip the striker's effort over the crossbar before clashing with the incoming Rushall man and was staggered to see referee Mr Conde award the Pics a penalty kick for a foul when it appeared that the clash had taken place after the ball had been tipped over

Despite the protests from Wycherley and the men in blue, the penalty was awarded and Glover did what he did on scores of occasions in a Hednesford shirt from the spot as he sent Wycherley the wrong way to level the match once more at the break

It had been a competitive encounter that had seen the Pitmen dominate possession but had seen Wycherley the busier of the two goalkeepers in the opening forty-five minutes. The away side were forced into a change before the game restarted as Josh Webb was replaced after suffering a knock and was replaced by the fit-again Sam Griffiths

It was to prove a poor spectacle in the second half as both sides struggled to carve out a clear-cut chance at either end and chalked up several cautions apiece in what was a typically committed local derby. Mitchell was booked for the Pics early in the second period for pulling Landell back which was an accumulation of pulls and tackles from the defender throughout the game

Parker's quickly-taken free-kick on fifty-two minutes was played into the feet of Landell, who laid the ball off to Griffiths down the right. His low cross was aimed at Brown at the near post, but Palmer did well to smother the ball low down before the former Pics striker could get to the ball

There was another early second-half change for the visitors on fifty-three minutes as King-Harmes was taken off after a mixed debut and was replaced by fellow teenager Rob Hanna

Glover was presented with a great chance to restore the Pics lead two minutes later as Cobourne's cross from the left found his strike partner unmarked in the six-yard box, only for the normally-deadly front man to head over the crossbar with the goal gaping. For a man of Glover's expertise, it was a relative sitter for him

Sam Whittall followed Glover and Mitchell into the book on fifty-eight minutes as he blatantly dragged Lycett down in the centre circle to stop the youngster from getting away from him. From the resultant Pryce free-kick, Bailey found himself with the ball at his feet from a tight angle and attempted to drive the ball across the face of goal. Brown tried to turn the ball home with his standing foot but could only divert the ball straight into the grateful arms of Palmer on his goal line

A corner kick from Clarke on sixty-one minutes was partially cleared by Bailey but dropped to the feet of former caretaker manager colleague Glover, whose acrobatic volley took a nick off Pryce and drifted just wide of the far post

A deep free-kick from Clarke out on the Rushall left on two minutes later found the head of Whittall at the far post, with the former Walsall man looping a header narrowly over the crossbar from eight yards out

The Pitmen's final change of the afternoon came on sixty-four minutes as Kyle Rowley replaced Chambers as the young Northern Irishman limped off after feeling the after-effects of a challenge on him in the lead up to the Pics penalty. This saw a change in shape that moved Ison into midfield as he had done in the early stages of Saturday's game against Biggleswade. Veteran Batchelor had also come in place of Coyle a minute earlier to face his former employers for the hosts

A rare foray into the Rushall half on sixty-eight minutes saw Lycett win a free-kick for the Pitmen after drawing a foul from Green. Pryce's inswinging left-footed ball in was tipped away by Palmer at the far post to turn it away from the head of Bailey, who was arriving to nod the ball home

From the resultant corner kick, the ball found its way out to Hanna on two separate occasions but the teenager drove his second shot from the edge of the penalty area high and wide of the Rushall goal

Bailey picked up the Pitmen's first caution of the game with sixteen minutes remaining as he crudely brought Cobourne down and was deservedly shown a yellow card by Mr Conde

Rushall substitute Parry - on for Cobourne - was nearly straight into the game with ten minutes to go as he seized upon a scuffed clearance from Bailey to shoot low at goal from the edge of the penalty area, only for Wycherley to make a save low down

The away side had struggled to get their attacking game going in the second half and had been disappointing in their approach play going forwards. A flowing move down the right involving Hanna and Griffiths played Brown in on goal with six minutes remaining, only for an offside flag to half the big striker's progress

Griffiths followed Bailey into the book with three minutes remaining as he was shown a yellow card for bringing Rackeem Reid down in full flight out on the wing

Rushall pressed the Pitmen's defence in the final moments and won several set-pieces in and around the final third of the pitch. A free-kick in the final minute of normal time from Thorley was flicked on by Glover and into the path of Mitchell, who arrived a little too late at the far post and could not quite get to the ball as Ison ushered it out of play

Thorley was also shown a yellow card in the last minute for the Pics for a mistimed challenge on the impressive Parker as the two evenly matched midfielders came together

The Pics could have snatched the points in added time through Glover as Parry's long throw from the right was flicked into the striker's path by Clarke, only for the four-goal man to drive his half-volley over the crossbar from ten yards out

the Pitmen can be happy with another useful point from a ground that has not been so kind to them over the years which maintains their unbeaten start to the season. They sit in third place and on eleven points, which is a fine haul from the first month of the campaign. However, a lack of cutting edge up front and wasteful bouts of possession are causes for concern as the team struggle to turn their passing phases into clear-cut chances; only seven goals from five games is proof of this lack of belief in the final third of the pitch. They take a break from league action for the first time this season on Saturday when Pitching In Northern Premier League Division One East side Cleethorpes Town travel to the PRG Stadium @ Keys Park in the first qualifying round of this season's F.A. Cup

Rushall Olympic: Palmer, Green, Mitchell , Thorley , Clarke, Whittall , Coyle (Batchelor 63), Moore, Glover , Cobourne (Parry 76), Master (Reid 70)      Subs Unused: Fitzgerald, Graham 

Hednesford Town: Wycherley, Webb (Griffiths 45 ), Pryce, Bailey © , Ison, Chambers (Rowley 64), King-Harmes (Hanna 53), Parker, Brown, Landell, Lycett     Subs Unused: Cater, Williams

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