8.9.2001

Dr. Martens Southern Premier League

Hednesford Town

Bagshaw (9), Lancashire (28), (41), Francis (34), Meacham (45), Haran (72)

Salisbury City

(5) 6

(0) 0

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

650

Paul Bagshaw

L L L L L W W

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Hinckley United (A) 11.9.01

The Pitmen blitz a shell-shocked Salisbury City side in the Keys Park sunshine this afternoon as they hit six against the mid-table dwelling Lilywhites after being five goals to the good at half time

Paul Raynor's side was shorn of a number of key names for this afternoon's game as Lenny Curtis joined Mark Gayle, Wayne Simpson and Neil Davis in being unavailable due to injury for today's game. Dean Craven was however passed fit after missing Monday night's thrilling late win over Ilkeston Town and was joined in the squad by fit-again left-back Tom Griffiths

Salisbury's first-ever trip to Keys Park came off the back of a Tuesday night defeat at home to an experienced Weymouth side which had left Geoff Butler's side similarly short of numbers for today's trip north as six players were ruled out due to injury. Butler had been forced into a number of changes to the side that had started in midweek as he sent his patched-up side out looking for their first win of the season after four draws and two defeats from their first six games of the campaign

On a sunny afternoon in South Staffordshire, the Pitmen were assertive in their start to the game and could have taken the lead as early as the opening minute when Paul Bagshaw's shot was blocked by Scott Bartlett en route to goal

Hednesford skipper Mark Haran was alert to Salisbury's first attack of the game in the fifth minute, turning a low shot from Tyronne Bowers into the side netting for a corner kick to the visitors

The Pitmen were rewarded for their good start to the game with the opening goal of the afternoon in the ninth minute; teenager Robbie Meacham sent over a cross that was knocked down by Kevin Francis to Bagshaw, who took advantage of some ball watching from Salisbury to fire confidently past Paddy Rynne in the Salisbury goal

A quick break from the hosts three minutes later saw Bagshaw make a move down the right flank and play the advancing Meacham through on goal. The 17-year-old took a touch too many as he steadied himself in the Salisbury penalty area, however, and allowed Scott Bartlett to make a covering tackle on the midfielder

Good play from Graham Lancashire played player/manager Raynor into the game on fifteen minutes as his clever pass through the channels played the veteran midfielder into space. Raynor's reverse pass into the path of Francis, who scuffed his shot from fifteen yards out well wide of goal

A free-kick from Bowers on twenty minutes tested the Pitmen's resolve on defence as the inswinging ball was headed up in the air by Lucas and into the path of Paul Sales, whose bobbling shot was eventually claimed at the far post by Gayle

Hednesford's second goal of the game came just before the half-hour mark with the excellent Bagshaw involved once more as the provider on this occasion. Playing a quick one-two with Raynor, Bagshaw crossed well from the right that was turned into the net from close range by the trusty boot of ace poacher Lancashire from close range

Francis had been fairly ineffective so far in the game as the Pitmen had struggled to utilise the big man's height and physical presence against a patched-up Salisbury defence. However, the former Stockport and Hull man found a way to get his name on the scoresheet on thirty-four minutes in slightly fortuitous circumstances as he followed in a long-range shot from Meacham and inexplicably diverted the shot beyond Rynne with his knee

The confidence in the Hednesford ranks flowed throughout the team as they dominated proceedings and attacked at will against a nervy and error-prone Salisbury side. Lancashire pulled his shot wide of goal on thirty-six minutes after being played in by Bagshaw, followed a minute later by a header from Shakespeare from a Meacham cross out on the left

The Pitmen's free-scoring showed no signs of ending as they grabbed a fourth goal with four minutes of the first half still to play; it was Lancashire once again showing his poaching instincts in the six-yard box as he got to a Francis knock-down first to turn the ball past Rynne with a toe-poke home

With half-time looming, the hosts struck a scarcely unbelievable fifth goal to put the game well out of reach of the away side. Stewart Airdrie - playing as an attacking full-back - showed his winger's instinct to beat Tristan Burton and cross for Meacham, who headed firmly home from six yards out

Half-time was greeted with a standing ovation for the main stand after the hosts had completely dismantled Salisbury and put the game beyond them already with forty-five minutes still to play. The one cloud on the horizon was a groin strain for Lancashire, who was forced off at the break and replaced by Jon Pickess at the start of the second half

The Pitmen took their foot off the gas at the start of the second half as they protected the big lead they had earned in the first half, soaking up any pressure from a limited Salisbury side completely lacking in confidence after being hammered in the first period. They were forced into a second change of the game on fifty-two minutes as Meacham's encouraging game was brought to a stuttering halt by injury

Ten minutes into the half, Airdrie exchanged passes with Raynor before playing Craven through on goal after the midfielder had made a late run through the Salisbury defence. Craven took a touch too many perhaps and allowed Kevin Braybrook to get across and block his goalbound shot

The Pitmen's injury curse unbelievably struck again on fifty-seven minutes as a third player was forced off with a knock with Shakespeare pulling up and being immediately replaced by Craig Hopkins

Despite all of these injury issues, the hosts still looked the more likely to add to their goal tally as Bagshaw's free-kick on sixty-two minutes was headed onto the post by Francis after nipping in to beat Lee Bradford to the cross

A rare venture into the Hednesford half on sixty-seven minutes saw Bowers and Robbie Harbut combine to play Sales through on goal, only for an offside flag to halt the striker's progress into the Hednesford penalty area

A free-kick from Bowers two minutes later was turned goalwards by the head of Braybrook, rising to meet the cross ahead of Haran, only for Gayle to field the ball well at his far post

Hednesford wrapped up the scoring with a sixth goal on seventy-two minutes from a Raynor corner kick as the player/manager's inswinging ball was met by the boot of Haran, who did enough to force the ball home via a deflection on the goal line and into the far corner of the net

Still the Pitmen pushed forward and could have added to their tally four minutes later when another Raynor corner was turned goalwards by a stray Salisbury boot, only for Rynne to make an instinctive save down to his right-hand side to turn the ball away from danger and save any further embarrassment to his dishevelled side

The Pitmen were handed the chance to grab a seventh goal of the afternoon with six minutes remaining as Pickess's run into the Salisbury penalty area from Craven's pass was halted illegally by a late challenge from substitute Andy McGlashan. Pickess dusted himself down to take the resultant spot-kick, but fluffed his kick and allowed Rynne to make a fairly easy save to turn his shot away from goal

It had been a fine afternoon in front of goal for the Pitmen, who were warmly applauded off once more by their supporters at the end of the game after a job well done against dispirited opponents who never managed to get themselves back into the game after conceding early on. It's a morale-boosting win for Raynor, who has started to come under pressure to get more out of his experienced squad. The mounting injury issues will be of cause for concern for Raynor, especially as his side have only three days rest before they make the trip to Middlefield Lane to face Hinckley United on Tuesday night

Hednesford Town: Wood, Airdrie, Lucas, Craven, Haran © , Shakespeare (Hopkins 57), Meacham (Griffiths 52), Raynor, Lancashire (Pickess 45), 

Francis, Bagshaw      Subs Unused: None

Salisbury City: Rynne, S. Bartlett, Burton (McGlashan 75), Braybrook, Bradford, Davies, L. Bartlett, Sales (Matthews 79), Harbut, Speakman, Bowers (Crook 27)     Sub Unused: None

 

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