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F.A. Trophy 1st Round

Shepshed Dynamo

Hednesford Town

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Stuart Ryder



Bath City (H) 8.11.03

The Pitmen safely navigate their way into the second round of this season's F.A. Trophy courtesy of a narrow win over Southern League Western strugglers Shepshed Dynamo this afternoon, although it wasn't pretty viewing for the Hednesford supporters that had made the short trip to Leicestershire

Coming off back-to-back wins in the Dr. Martens Southern Premier League in the past two weeks, manager Barry Powell elected to make two changes to the side that had beaten Tiverton Town at Keys Park last weekend, dropping the out-of-form Steve Anthrobus in favour of the pace of Nathan Lamey up front and the cup-tied Chris Gray replaced by Anthony Maguire. Powell had used his contacts in midweek to bring in the vastly experienced former Wolves, West Bromwich Albion and Cardiff City left-back Andy Thompson to the club, with the Cannock-based 36-year-old named amongst the Pitmen's substitutes for today's game

Shepshed's season had been once of struggle so far this term, with Dave Clay's side sitting rock bottom of the Southern League Western after thirteen games, with no league wins so far this term and only six points on the board to date. Their only win so far this term had come in the preliminary round of the F.A. Trophy, beating league rivals Solihull Borough after a replay to set up this afternoon's game against the Pitmen. A defeat to local rivals Gresley Rovers last week forced Clay into making two changes to his side, bringing in Duncan O'Brien and Matt Dorrian for Alex Hook and Jordan Lambert for today's game against their higher-league opponents

Cheered on by another sizeable away following that swelled the 211 strong crowd, the Pitmen were ponderous in the opening stages of the game on a bobbly Dovecote pitch as the hosts enjoyed the better of the opening quarter of the game. A succession of corner kicks from the hosts tested the Pitmen's early resolve, with Chris Brindley, Ryan Young and Stuart Ryder marshalling the Hednesford defence well during this early period of pressure

Dynamo's best chance of the opening exchanges came in the eleventh minute as a long ball forwards from Lee Quincey found Martyn Emery, rose scuffed shot from the edge of the penalty area dropped into the grateful arms of Young

Two minutes later, a good run from former Nuneaton Borough man Simon Forsdick saw the right winger jink his way past Hines and send over a fine cross from the byeline that was headed high over the crossbar by Emery

The Pitmen started to come back into the proceedings as they found their feet, with Carl Palmer winning the ball in his own half after dispossessing Quincey on fourteen minutes and going on a typically lung busting run into Shepshed territory. He played Lamey in on goal, only for the striker to drift into an offside position as he received the shot and was pulled back for straying in behind the Shepshed back line

The experienced Steve Prindiville headed wide for the hosts on eighteen minutes from a Forsdick free-kick out on the right touch-line after he was allowed to drift into the far post unchallenged by a ball-watching Hednesford defence

Dorrian and Steve Palmer were both spoken to by referee Mr. Hancox on twenty-one minutes after a coming-together in midfield that saw the pair square up to each other

Brindley flashed a header just wide of the post on twenty-five minutes as he rose to meet a Hines are-kick from the right, heading into the Hednesford fans gathered behind Richard Keeling's goal

Shepshed's rugged approach to the game was not to Hednesford's liking, with Lamey left on the deck after losing out to O'Brien on twenty-nine minutes and getting no sympathy from the referee, who gestured to the striker to get on with the game

Darren Simkin tested Keeling on thirty-two minutes with a low daisy-cutter of a free-kick that bounced and bobbled along the turf before landing in Keeling's gloves


Three minutes later, Steve Palmer nutmegged Quincey and found namesake Carl, whose powerful shot from the edge of the Shepshed penalty area cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and back into play. Close from the dynamic midfield man

It had been a fairly nondescript first-half from both sides as half-time arrived with no other chances for either side; Shepshed will have been the happier of the two sides after limiting the Pitmen to only a clutch of chances in an uninspiring encounter

The second-half was a similarly poor game, as it continued in much the same way as the first with Shepshed content to play in a more industrial way to frustrate their higher level opponents and force the Pitmen to work for the few chance that came their way


On forty-nine minutes, Hines took a quick free-kick and played Steve Palmer into space, with the Hednesford skipper supplying Maguire into space down the right wing. The youngster's cross was missed by Mark Danks before being volleyed wide at the far post by Lamey 

Simkin was guilty of wasting a good chance for the visitors on fifty-four minutes as he elected to shoot from range rather than play McGhee in on goal, driving well wide of goal and incurring the wrath of Lamey for his poor selection of shot

On the hour mark, Good football from Shepshed saw Dorrian and Emery link up to feed Forsdick down the right wing. Forsdick's cross was played out of danger by Young but only into the path of Carl Lawrence, whose follow-up shot was struck wildly over the crossbar from twelve yards out

A bout of head-tennis in the Shepshed penalty area on sixty-five minutes saw Brindley and Ryder involved ads they tried to force the ball over the line, but a combination of Keeling and O'Brien cleared the ball for the home side

The Pitmen were handed an outrageous piece of luck four minutes later as they took the lead with what was to prove to be the winner; a long, aimless ball forwards from Simkin was controlled by Dorrian and played back to Prindiville, who, without looking, played a diagonal ball back towards Keeling. However, the Shepshed keeper was wrong-footed by Prindiville's heavy back pass and had to race across his penalty area in an attempt to keep the ball away from goal. Danks was alert to the issue and nipped in ahead of Keeling to poke the ball past the keeper and over the line. The pair clashed as they challenged for the ball, resulting in Danks requiring medical attention as he lay in the Shepshed net. It was Danks's third goal in three games for the Pitmen, with the youngster starting to show some of the ability that Powell had enthused over after signing him in the summer from Bradford City

Shepshed were forced to play further forward for the final twenty minutes as they went in search of a leveller to force a replay at Keys Park, with Carl Timms coming on in place of Jason Weafer as Dynamo made a tactical tweak to their side. A corner kick from Forsdick on seventy-three minutes flashed across the face of the Hednesford goal with no-one in back and white able to turn the cross home from close-range

Another corner from Forsdick five minutes later was flicked on by O'Brien at the near post before Emery side footed an effort wide of goal at the far post as he horribly miscued his first-time shot

Simkin made an excellent sliding challenge on Timms on eighty-three minutes to turn the ball behind for a Shepshed corner kick after Emery had played the ball 'around the corner' for the substitute, who had made a darting run in behind the Hednesford defence

Emery headed high over the crossbar form a Dorrian free-kick two minutes later, before Young punched an inswinging corner kick from Forsdick from underneath his crossbar as Shepshed pressed

Thompson was given a late run-out to add more know-how to the Hednesford defence as he replaced a tiring McGhee on eighty-eight minutes, slotting in at left-back to allow Hines to play further forward

Another late succession of corners from Shepshed were dealt with well by a stout Hednesford defence in added time, seeing Powell's side through to the next round of this season's Trophy. It had been a tough afternoon for the Pitmen, who had struggled to cope with Shepshed's physical, direct approach that was built around set-pieces in the main but had taken the one chance that had been gifted to them in the second half. They return to league action next weekend when they face struggling Bath City at Keys Park looking to make it three league wins in a row and four in all competitions

Shepshed Dynamo: Keeling, Stevens, Prindiville ©, O'Brien, Savage, Quincey, Dorrian, Weafer (Timms 72), Lawrence, Emery (Lambert 84), Forsdick       Subs Unused: Hook, Simon, Harland

Hednesford Town: Young, Simkin, Hines, McGhee (Thompson 88), Brindley, Ryder, C. Palmer, S. Palmer ©, Lamey, Danks, Maguire      Subs Unused: Charie, Dodd, Gibson, P. Evans

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