8.1.2011

Zamaretto Southern Premier League

Salisbury City

Kelly (53), Joyce (57) (penalty)

Hednesford Town

Quinn (50)

(0) 2

(0) 1

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

659

Danny Quinn

D L W L W W L L W L

Truro City (H) 15.1.11

Despite enjoying the best of the game this afternoon, Hednesford crashed to defeat at high-flying Salisbury at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium this afternoon. The defeat drops the Pitmen down to ninth in the table as a result, with Salisbury moving closer to the top of the table after claiming all three points

Jamey Osborne's injury in the win at Leamington on Monday saw him ruled out of today's trip to Wiltshire with Ben Bailey coming into the side in his place. Otherwise, it was the same side that had pulled off the impressive win at the New Windmill earlier in the week as Rob Smith's side went in search of back-to-back wins on the road

Salisbury were in the midst of a fearsome run of form, having won their last six games in all competitions to move them up into second place in the table, albeit eight points behind runaway league leaders Truro City; a 4-0 hammering of Chippenham Town last week had followed a 7-1 destruction job of Halesowen Town in mid-December. Player/manager Darrell Clarke made only one change to the side that had beaten Chippenham as Jamie Turley came in for Cheltenham Town loanee Kyle Haynes  

Both sides were keen to get a quick start, with the partisan home support getting behind their team as they chased down runaway leaders Truro. Eleven minutes in, Ben Joyce fired a warning shot at the Pitmen with a rising shot from twenty yards out after he was given too much time on the ball

The Pitmen were struggling to make inroads into a well-organised Salisbury defence, with Clements firing in a cross-shot that just missed Ross Davidson at the far post on fourteen minutes

Five minutes later, Salisbury's Jake Reid went closest to giving the hosts the lead, picking the ball up in the area and turning sharply, only to be denied by a tremendous block by skipper Liam Francis

Indeed, the three centre backs for the Pitmen were looking strong and disciplined, with Decio Gomes mopping up any Salisbury pressure with ease. Cheyenne Dunkley and Francis were also impressive with their power and positioning. However, Gomes almost blotted his copybook with a skewed clearance midway through the half that just missed his own goal

On the half-hour mark, Clements was denied a shot on goal courtesy of a last-ditch block from Lilywhites skipper Brian Dutton as he shaped to shoot on the edge of the penalty area

Danny Quinn had been quiet up to this point in the game, looking for an opening to continue his hot streak in front of goal. His best chance of the half was presented to him thirty yards out after he was played in by Jay Denny but fired well over with a wild shot

Monday's goal hero Nick Wellecomme very nearly continued his great start to life at Hednesford five minutes before half time, as Darren Campion's corner kick dropped at his feet in front of goal. However, he failed to get the ball down to get a shot in, allowing the Salisbury defence to recover and clear

All in all, Rob Smith would have been pretty happy with a battling first-half performance. His half time team talk seemed to have the desired effect, as the Pitmen pushed Salisbury back in the early stages of the second period and grabbed the all-important opener on fifty minutes

Wellecomme was fed the ball by Clements twenty-five yards out, who in turn slipped the ball through Dutton's legs and into the path of Quinn. The man in form didn't need a second invitation and swept the ball past keeper Tommy Smith from twelve yards out to score his seventh goal in seven games since joining the Pitmen

The goal shocked the home side, and its supporters, into life, with Salisbury immediately pressing the Pitmen for an immediate equaliser. Joyce was a prominent figure in a crazy seven-minute spell, hitting a powerful shot that came back off Dan Crane's crossbar on fifty-two minutes; the rebound fell to the same player, whose follow-up shot was turned around the post by Crane

You could almost sense a goal coming for the home side, and it duly arrived a minute later after more Salisbury pressure. Denny panicked under scrutiny from two Salisbury players, succeeding in scuffing his attempted clearance straight to Adam Kelly, who fired an unstoppable shot past Crane and into the net via the post to level matters

Quinn's persistence created a half-chance for the front man sixty seconds later as he gambled on a Clements ball to get in front of his marker and volley over the bar

The relentless spell of Salisbury pressure told once more on fifty-seven minutes when Campion and Joyce came together on the right-hand side of the penalty area, culminating in Joyce taking a tumble. The referee immediately pointed to the spot, allowing Joyce to dust himself down and fire confidently past Crane to give the Lilywhites the lead

Salisbury's Ben Adelsbury looked to extend the home side's lead six minutes later, hitting a speculative dipping shot that Crane turned away for a corner kick

With the Pitmen now chasing the game, Smith decided to make a change to his formation on seventy minutes, bringing on striker Marvin Robinson for defender Ben Bailey to add more presence alongside Quinn and Wellecomme

Despite this move, Salisbury continued to look the more threatening on the break, swiftly counter-attacking through Joyce and Reid. Reid was unlucky not to add to Salisbury's advantage on seventy-nine minutes, beating Dunkley for pace before testing Crane with a low shot

More changes up front for the Pitmen saw Kyle Patterson brought on in place of the tiring Wellecomme, and Simon Brown replace Campion on the left-wing

With three minutes remaining, Clements almost struck an equaliser for the Pitmen, running into the area before hitting a swerving shot that just missed the far post

In the final minutes, Reid nearly grabbed the goal his efforts deserved, heading a Clarke free-kick narrowly wide of goal after he was left free in the area

Despite a ten minute spell where the Hednesford defence went AWOL, this had been a good quality, battling performance from the Pitmen, who looked good value for at least a point for much of this game. However, there is no time to dwell on this narrow defeat as top dogs Truro visit Keys Park next Saturday looking to extend their lead at the top of the table which will be yet another stern test for the Pitmen

 

Salisbury City: Smith, Turley, Brett, Adelsbury , Dutton ©, Tafazolli, Kelly (Casey 87), Clarke , Joyce (Fitchett 65), Reid, Knight       Subs Unused: Haynes, Pryce, Collier

Hednesford Town: Crane, Gomes, Campion (Brown 87), Dunkley , Francis ©, Denny , Bailey (Robinson 70), Clements, Wellecomme (Patterson 83), Quinn, Davidson      Subs Unused: Gibson, Keenan

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