6.9.2011

Evo-Stik Northern Premier League

Rushall Olympic

Lewis (12), Obeng (40)

Hednesford Town

Quinn (86)

(2) 2

(1) 1

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

422

Jamey Osborne

W W W W L W D L

Ashton United (A) 10.9.11

Local rivals Rushall claimed a well-deserved and famous win over Hednesford this evening, once again exposing the Pitmen's defensive frailties in a first-half horror show for Rob Smith's men

Smith, still smarting from Saturday's two points lost in the draw with Stocksbridge, welcomed back striker Nick Wellecomme after suspension; he came in at the expense of Saturday's scorer Danny Quinn. Decio Gomes was given a first start of the season against his former club, with Phil Clarke the unlucky man to drop to the bench. Kyle Hayes was deemed fit enough to make the substitutes bench after missing Saturday's game with injury

The wind and driving rain that met the two sides upon their arrival, making crisp, flowing football a difficult art to master in the early stages. Chris Clements almost surprised Rushall keeper Chris Gemmell with a long-range swerving shot after just two minutes, but the Pics number one did enough to palm the ball away from danger

The Pics reply came swiftly, as Ahmed Obeng took advantage of a slip by Pedro Monteiro to get in behind the Hednesford defence. He managed to sidestep the challenge from Dan Crane but skewed his shot wide from a tight angle

This merely acted as a prelude to Rushall's opener, as the Pitmen's oh-so-familiar defensive misgivings crept back into their game on twelve minutes. A neat passing move from the hosts opened up the Pitmen down the right, with Obeng played in behind the defence. He slipped the ball into the path of striker partner Lewis, who had the simple task of side-footing past Crane from close range

Marvin Robinson - the villain of the piece on Saturday after missing a number of good chances - wasted the opportunity to strike back immediately as he muscled his way onto a Jamey Osborne through ball before firing straight at Gemmell with a low shot

The returning Wellecomme failed to worry Gemmell with a weak shot on twenty-nine minutes as he tried to curl the ball past the Rushall keeper from a tight angle

Rushall were still looking the more threatening on the break, as their solid defence were finding Lewis and Obeng unchallenged as they played the balls over the heads of the Hednesford defenders and into the open space behind them. Marcus Jackson was allowed time and space on thirty-five minutes to set himself and fire at goal, only for Crane to claim the ball safely

Having had ample opportunity to get to grips with Rushall's tactics, the Pitmen shot themselves in the foot again five minutes before half time as Rushall doubled their advantage. In a similar move that led to the first goal, Jackson played the ball out to Obeng, who beat a sluggish Pitmen defence for pace before lashing the ball past Crane from an angle for 2-0

The best Hednesford could muster at the end of a desperately disappointing first half was a late shot from skipper Darren Campion, who fired high over the crossbar with a shot from twenty-five yards

Half time saw Smith make a change to his misfiring side, with the more attack-minded Clarke replacing Gomes down the right after the Portuguese man had had a torrid first half playing out of position

The visitors did emerge with more purpose as a result, with Robinson having a shot blocked by Michael Tolley early on in the opening exchanges

Campion was making use of the swirling wind with his corner kicks, with one such ball causing Gemmell a real headache on fifty minutes; the Pics keeper just did enough to claim a ball under his crossbar as three Hednesford players challenged him

Five minutes later, Osborne showed quick feet to dance past two challenges before unleashing a rising shot that Gemmell watched over the crossbar

Clements and Dunkley both incurred the wrath of the referee for niggly fouls in the space of two minutes, with both players booked as a result. This was to signal the end of Dunkley's game, as he made way for Quinn in a move that saw the Pitmen's formation change to a more 4-3-3 set-up

Quinn was straight into the action five minutes later, turning Tolley on the edge of the area and firing straight at Gemmell with a low drive

Robinson's luck in front of goal was showing no signs of improving, as the big striker missed the best chance of the game for the Pitmen on sixty-eight minutes after heading Osborne's cross over the crossbar when he should have at least forced Gemmell into action

Monteiro became the latest Hednesford player to go into the book on seventy minutes, as yet another silly challenge was deemed a bookable offence by the referee

Lewis could have put the game to bed on seventy-three minutes, as Obeng was again given time and space to advance on the Hednesford goal. He pulled the ball back into the path of Lewis, who somehow fired wide of goal after sidestepping two desperate tackles

Gemmell was called upon to deny man of the match Osborne again on seventy-seven minutes after the youngster had hit a low half volley towards goal

The game took a turn for the nastier ten minutes from time, after former Hednesford skipper Sean Platt had brought down current skipper Darren Campion. A bout of handbags followed, with Platt, Campion and Chris Shaw all booked for their part in the melee

The Pitmen suddenly became a  team transformed as if the brawl had acted as a catalyst for a late revival. They pushed Rushall back into their own half and subjected them to the kind of pummelling that won that quite remarkable game against Stafford Rangers last week

Quinn, perhaps expectedly, was the main player in Hednesford's sudden turn of fortune, as he reduced arrears with a well-taken goal on eighty-six minutes. His quick turn and shot on the half volley finally beat Gemmell and found the bottom corner of the net for his fifth goal of the season

Quinn almost grabbed an equaliser on eighty-nine minutes, firing over the crossbar after making room for himself twelve yards out

The Pitmen went even closer to grabbing an unlikely - and undeserved - equaliser in added time, as twice they hit Gemmell's front post. Firstly, Clements tried his luck with a swerving free-kick out on the left which crashed off the outside of the post and out of play

In the fourth minute of added time, Campion's speculative shot from nearly thirty yards went so close to claiming the Pitmen a point, but Gemmell was relieved to see the ball strike the post and away from danger

A bout of unpleasantness at the end of the game marred what had been an exciting finale, but make no mistake - the Pitmen must be looking to make changes in defence after yet another lacklustre game at the back. They are on the road once more this coming weekend as they travel up the M6 to face Ashton United at Hurst Cross

Rushall Olympic: Gemmell, Spittle, Skedgel, Tolley, Platt , Beckett ©, Blythe (Bragoli 73), Dacres, Lewis (Amos 90), Obeng, Jackson (Morris 76)       Subs Unused: Morris, Edwards, Keenan


Hednesford Town: Crane, Monteiro , Campion © , Shaw , Dunkley  (Quinn 62), Denny, Gomes (Clarke 45), Clements , Robinson, Wellecomme, Osborne       Subs Unused: Haynes, Bailey, Dixon