Evo-Stik Northern Premier League

Hednesford Town

Hay (6), Durrell (13), Clements (37), Jevons (71)

Rushall Olympic

Obeng (39)

(3) 4

(1) 1



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Cheyenne Dunkley


Stocksbridge Park Steels (A) 26.11.11

Hednesford's promotion aspirations were further enhanced this evening, as they swept local rivals Rushall aside with a terrific opening salvo that essentially ended the game as a contest

Mark Danks's cameo on Saturday against Chorley earned him a starting spot in place of Nick Wellecomme, who dropped to the bench. Ben Jevons also earned a starting spot, with Chris Shaw missing out. Jamey Osborne failed to recover from the injury picked up during the 2-0 win at the weekend, allowing Elliott Durrell to come back into the side

Rushall - 2-1 winners over the Pitmen back in August at Dales Lane - made the short hop across from Walsall with a large number of former Hednesford players in their ranks for tonight's derby clash. Former youth team player Danny Bragoli was joined by Alex Melbourne, ex-skipper Sean Platt, striker Matt Lewis and veteran midfielder Gary Fitzpatrick, who was amongst the Pics substitutes

The Pitmen got straight into their stride from the off, with Danks picking up a Jevons ball and firing in an angled drive that Rushall keeper Chris Gemmell parried away from goal after four minutes

The Pics were struggling to get a foothold in the game early on and fell behind on six minutes. Kyle Haynes was given the freedom of Keys Park as he advanced on goal down the right-wing, rifling in a bobbling shot that Gemmell could only parry. The ball fell kindly to the feet of Gary Hay, who made it three goals in two games with a simple tap-in on the follow-up

Tails up, the Pitmen continued to pile forward in search of a second goal. Chris Clements played Danks in with a clever ball down the left-wing, with the striker sending over a cross that Jevons headed just wide on ten minutes

Three minutes later, Durrell grabbed his second goal of the season with a trademark finish, firing past Gemmell from an angle after he had robbed Bragoli near his own penalty area and jinked his way into the penalty area

Rushall showed signs of improvement following Durrell's goal, as they showed some industry in forcing the Pitmen back. A flurry of set pieces gave Cheyenne Dunkley and Pedro Monteiro work to do, especially in watching the livewire Ahmed Obeng

Obeng went closest to a reply for Olympic on nineteen minutes, but his twenty-yard effort went well wide of Dan Crane's goal

Gemmell had to be alert to deal with a Haynes cross on twenty-eight minutes, claiming the ball as former Rushall man Jevons looked to get on the end of the ball

The Pitmen put daylight between themselves and the Pics on thirty-seven minutes, as top scorer Chris Clements added to his burgeoning reputation with yet another goal. Bragoli lost out in midfield to Jay Denny, with the loose ball picked up by Clements. He advanced on goal before unleashing a powerful long-range shot that appeared to brush Durrell and beat Gemmell into the bottom corner of the net

Gary Hay's game came to an end as he was replaced on thirty-nine minutes by Wellecomme, who added power and presence up front after coming on

Obeng has been earning rave reviews this season with his regular goals and overall play, and he added to his tally for the season just before half time; Marco Adaggio played the ball into the path of the front man, who turned on the edge of the area and curled a brilliant shot beyond the reach of Crane to reduce the deficit

Rushall started the second half on the front foot, clearly believing there was something left to gain from the match. A couple of early corners gave the Pitmen's defence problems, with Adaggio going close with a header

 Bragoli and Alex Melbourne linked up on fifty-six minutes to create a chance for Adaggio, with Melbourne whipping in a cross that eluded the former Stafford forward by inches six yards out

Monteiro - booked in the first half in a moment of petulance off the ball in a rare display of dissent from the experienced defender - was shown a second yellow card on fifty-seven minutes after a late challenge on Obeng had sent the nippy striker sprawling. Manager Rob Smith reacted immediately by bringing on centre back  Ben Bailey in place of striker Danks to compensate for the loss of Monteiro

Rushall gave the Pitmen ten minutes to worry about following this, as the Pics pushed the hosts into their own third. Two dangerous corner kicks were well dealt with by the excellent Dunkley, with Michael Tolley having a go with a long-range shot that only just missed Crane's right-hand post

After weathering the storm, the home side finished the game off as a contest on seventy-one minutes. Clements played a wonderful through ball into the path of Jevons, who finished brilliantly with a cool finish past Gemmell from the edge of the area

Jevons' reward for finishing the game off was to be withdrawn on seventy-eight minutes, allowing Bradley Grice to make his first-team debut in a late substitute appearance

Rushall continued to press, to their credit, and nearly reduced the deficit with two minutes remaining when Bragoli struck to top of the crossbar with a mis-hit cross that nearly caught Crane out

With Chorley beating Northwich Victoria this evening also, it has turned out to be a very profitable day's work for the Pitmen, with Smith's side now only four points of top spot with three games in hand on both Northwich and Chester

Hednesford Town: Crane, Haynes, Campion ©, Monteiro   (57), Dunkley, Denny, Durrell, Clements, Danks (Bailey 58), Hay (Wellecomme 39), Jevons (Grice 78)      Subs Unused: Allen, Shaw

Rushall Olympic: Gemmell, Smith © (Forde 61), Skedgel, Tolley, Platt, Melbourne, Bragoli, Blythe (Bottomer 77), Adaggio (Wilkes 77), Obeng, Lewis      Subs Unused: Fitzpatrick, Dacres, Wilkes