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Zamaretto Southern Premier League

Hednesford Town

Carter (43), (69), Gibson (55)

Salisbury City

(1) 3

(0) 0



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Alfie Carter


Brackley Town (A) 2.10.10

Hednesford finally got their home campaign up and running, albeit belatedly, with a fine victory over much-fancied Salisbury at Keys Park this afternoon. The win keeps the Pitmen within three points of the top teams in the Zamaretto League, setting them up nicely for the forthcoming fixtures

After a miserable showing against Swindon Supermarine on Tuesday night, Bernard McNally tweaked his team accordingly. Jimmy Turner returned to the side after injury, replacing Louis Keenan in defence. New signing Jarred Stevens made his first appearance for the team amongst the substitutes as he replaced veteran Mark Bellingham, who had left the club under a cloud in midweek following a goalless period at Keys Park

Salisbury's steady climb up the league table saw them just above the Pitmen in sixth place at the start of today's play, having been on a long unbeaten run since the start of the season. They had required a replay to see off the challenge of Highworth Town in the F.A. Cup in midweek, with player/manager Darrell Clarke making two changes to his line-up for today's game; Chris Giles and Clarke himself were replaced by Charlie Knight and Bradley Gray respectively, whilst there was a place on the bench for recent signing Jake Reid

Clearly pumped up after stinging criticism from all quarters in the last week, the Pitmen made a good start, with Patterson making an early run through the Salisbury defence, only to be denied by a block from skipper Jamie Turley

Patterson was again involved on eight minutes, making a run through the defence to get on the end of a Chris Clements through ball, only to be denied by keeper Tommy Smith, who appeared to turn the ball away for a corner. To the amazement of all in the ground, the referee awarded a goal kick, even with both clubs lining up for the corner kick

Jamey Osborne continued his fine run of form with a bright start, darting through two Salisbury challenges on ten minutes before firing straight at Scott

Salisbury responded with a quick break that opened the Hednesford defence up, with Josh Casey testing Dan Crane with a shot that the Hednesford number one turned away for a corner on fifteen minutes

Clements was next to try his luck for the Pitmen mid-way through the half, twisting and turning into space before firing in a powerful shot that was only just off-target

As the skies darkened and the rain threatened to fall, Jay Denny made a move forward to collect Aaron Gibson's pass before shooting straight at Scott on thirty-six minutes

Salisbury had their best chance of the half to score on thirty-nine minutes; Ben Joyce turned Ben Bailey on the edge of the area and fired in a low shot that came back off the base of the post and out of play, with Crane beaten all ends up

Despite this scare, it was the hosts who went into the break one goal to the good, with Alfie Carter coming up with the goods two minutes before half time. A short corner involving Gibson and Osborne saw the ball swung over to Carter, who rose above the bodies in the six-yard box to head home his third goal of the season

Clarke had seen enough from his misfiring side in the first period and made a double change at the break, bringing himself on for Casey and Reid replacing Matt Wright

The Pitmen continued their positive form after the break, as Salisbury struggled to get out of their own half. The football being played by the hosts defied their recent struggles, as the highly-rated Salisbury side were made to defend for much of the half

Ten minutes into the second half and a superb flowing move across the pitch allowed Sean Platt time and space to whip in a dangerous cross to the back post, where Gibson bravely dived in amongst a forest of legs and boots to head home. Gibson got a crack on his head for his troubles and was substituted two minutes later, with Keenan replacing him

And it got even better for the Pitmen four minutes later, as Carter put clear air between the two sides with his second of the game. Keenan's deep cross from the left found Carter, who headed firmly past Scott to make it three-nil

Stung into action, Salisbury almost grabbed a lifeline two minutes later. Turley got his head to a corner kick from the left, but got underneath the ball and headed over the bar

This was closely followed by another header, this time from new signing Reid, who glanced his header wide of Crane's goal from six yards out

Carter almost capped a perfect afternoon with his hat-trick goal when he got his head to yet another cross on seventy-two minutes, heading a Clements free-kick agonisingly wide of the far post, as Scott scampered across goal. This was to be his last action, as the tiring front man was taken off and replaced by new boy Stevens

Clarke was guilty of a poor miss with fifteen minutes remaining, as Salisbury substitute Jason Silver ran straight through the Hednesford defence before teeing up Clarke, who shot wide of the post when he should at least have tested Crane

Silver again threatened with six minutes left, turning Liam Francis before hitting a low shot that hit the post and came back into play

Patterson could have put the icing on the cake in the final moments but missed the target with a scuffed shot after being played in by Clements

After the trials and tribulations of the last week, it was pleasing to see the team applauded off, rather than booed off after inflicting Salisbury's first defeat of the season in a professional manner. Can McNally and his troops use this as a springboard to more success? They have a two-week break to rest up before their next game with no F.A. Cup game next weekend, visiting Brackley Town a week later looking to build on this fine result today

Hednesford Town: Crane, Platt ©, Francis, Bailey, Turner, Denny, Osborne, Clements, Carter (Stevens 75), Patterson, Gibson (Keenan 57)    Subs Unused: Dunkley, Barnes, Brock

Salisbury City: Price, Sheehan, Casey (Clarke 45), Turley, Brett, McLaggon (Silver 68), Dutton, Joyce, Wright (Reid 45), Knight      Subs Unused: Cooper, Smith

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