29.10.2016

F.A. Trophy 1st Qualifying Round

Stamford

Sandy (19)

Hednesford Town

Glover (22), (53), Challinor (67) (OG), Singh (69)

(0) 1

(1) 3

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

345

Danny Glover

D W L W L W L L W W

Sutton Coldfield Town (H) 31.10.16

Hednesford moved into the second qualifying round of this season's F.A. Trophy this afternoon but had to come from behind to defeat Evo-Stik Division One South side Stamford in the process with an assertive second-half display in front of goal

 

With the games continuing to come thick and fast for Liam McDonald's side, the Hednesford manager again shuffled his pack and made changes to the side that had beaten Skelmersdale the previous week; in came Jimmy Mutton for the injured Lewis Wright, whilst Danny Glover and Joel Logan both started ahead of Ashley Sammons and Jamie Matthews. Youth team graduate Myles Phipps was the latest player to earn himself a shot at the first-team as he was moved up into the first-team squad as a substitute

 

Stamford - relegated from the Evo-Stik Premier League last season - had one eye on next weekend's big F.A. Cup tie against League Two side Hartlepool United - a welcome break from the struggles in the league, with the Daniels currently occupying a place in the bottom four at step four after failing to adapt to the level so far this term. 

It was the Pitmen's first-ever visit to Stamford's impressive new ground the Zeeco Stadium, having not visited since the Daniels moved from their town centre Kettering Road ground in 2014. It was a cold autumn afternoon and the last of the light Saturday afternoons with the clocks due to change this evening for the winter months

The Pitmen started well and went close to opening the scoring in the fourth minute as Lloyd Ransome's long kick forwards was flicked on by Glover and into the path of George Carline, who scooped a shot wide of goal via a slight deflection off Matthews

Glover looked to get his name on the scoresheet in the ninth minute, turning the ball just wide of the far post after Tom Thorley's ball to Cohen Bramall allowed the youngster to swing a cross into the far post

 

The Hednesford striker went even closer to scoring three minutes later as he poked a close-range effort against the crossbar, with Logan putting the rebound wide of goal after Bramall had played another useful cross into the Stamford penalty area

The hosts had struggled to get a foothold in the game thus far, misplacing passes and allowing the Pitmen to control the play in midfield areas through Simeon Maye and the ever-impressive Tom Thorley 

 

And yet, Stamford's first meaningful attack of the game saw them take a surprise lead in the nineteenth minute; a swift counter-attack caught the Pitmen out, with Elliot Sandy getting on the end of a flowing move involving Ryan Robbins to slot past Lloyd Ransome from ten yards out

 

The Daniels did not hold the lead for very long, however, as with their next attack, the Pitmen drew level. Gurjit Singh's initial shot was blocked by Chris Salt and deflected the ball kindly into the path of Glover, who fired home into the bottom corner of the net for his seventh goal of the season with a confident finish

 

A rare foray into the Stamford box for Thorley saw the Hednesford skipper comically hit himself in the face on twenty-six minutes as his shot rebounded back at him just inside the home side's penalty area, prompting ironic cheers from the home crowd

Mutton headed wide from a good position just outside the Stamford six-yard box on the half-hour mark as Thorley's fine inswinging free-kick from the right flank was met by the burly centre-back at the far post

 

 Neat, tricky wing play from Logan four minutes later saw the former Rochdale man make a great run inside two Stamford challenges before firing in a weak shot that was easily saved by Sam Donkin in the Stamford goal

 

Lee Beeson wasted a good chance for Stamford on thirty-nine minutes, firing straight into the wall from the edge of the penalty area after Calum Flanagan had brought down Grant Ryan just outside the box

 

Singh had more joy with a free-kick at the other end three minutes later, firing inches wide of the upright after he had been fouled a foot or so outside the Stamford penalty area

The first-half had been shaded by the step three Pitmen, who had had the better chances and looked the most likely to grab the all-important third goal of the afternoon

 

Stamford made a bright start to the second half initially, with Ryan forcing Ransome into a good save two minutes after the restart with a close-range header from Ollie Luto's deep cross

 

George Carline was unlucky not to extend his recent scoring run on forty-eight minutes, as more last-ditch defending from centre-back Salt cleared the midfielder's shot off the line

 

The Pitmen finally made their superiority count on fifty-three minutes, with Glover giving the away side the lead for the first time in the game; a long throw into the box from Michael Williams was flicked on by Carline, leaving Glover to tap the loose ball home from close range to move clear as the club's top scorer for the season on eight goals

 

Donkin had to be alert to deny Maye a third goal for the Pitmen on fifty-six minutes, making a fine smothering save to deny the midfielder from long range, then denying Singh with an equally impressive follow-up stop to turn the rebound away for a corner

 

Glover's game came to an abrupt end on fifty-eight minutes, with the striker taken off with what appeared to be a muscle pull; he was replaced by the goalless Matthews up front to play alongside Singh

 

The home side hit the woodwork on sixty-two minutes as they attempted to get themselves back in the game, as Mutton's misdirected header came back off his own post before being picked up by Ransome as Stamford pressed down the right-hand side

 

The Pitmen appeared to put the game beyond Stamford with a third goal on sixty-seven minutes, as the otherwise-excellent Jon Challinor bundled the ball into his own net as he attempted to clear Logan's deep cross from the right, under pressure from Carline

 

3-1 became 4-1 within two minutes, as the Pitmen wrapped up their passage into the next round thanks to a neat passing move involving Matthews and Thorley, who played Singh in on goal. The forward sold Donkin a clever dummy before slotting into the empty net to join Carline and Glover on eight goals for the campaign

 

 The Pitmen made two swift changes with the game now won, with Sammons coming on for Logan and youngster Phipps handed his first-team bow after coming on in place of Singh

 

Matthews' search for his first goal for the Pitmen continued on eighty minutes as he fired over the crossbar from a Carline knockdown with another poor miss from close-range to add to his recent catalogue of misses

 

The striker skied another shot wide of goal five minutes later, firing a wayward drive after Thorley's corner made it all the way through to him at the far post to drill an angled shot goalwards

 

 With two minutes remaining, Stamford hit the post for the second time in the game with substitute Jevani Brown hitting a shot against the inside of the post and away from goal as he beat Ransome down to his left-hand side

 

The Pitmen can be pleased with their afternoon's work and safe passage into Monday's draw for the second qualifying round after a regulation win over their step four hosts. Monday night sees them back in league action as they face struggling Sutton Coldfield Town for the second time in a month in the looking of a repeat of their 5-0 win at Coles Lane three weeks ago

 

Stamford: Donkin, Challinor, Luto, Hartley, Salt (Batchelor 80), Miller, Beeson, Smith, Ryan, Sandy (Brown 34), Robbins (J. King 60)      Subs Unused: Brown-Hill, K. King

 

Hednesford Town: Ransome, Williams, Bramall, Maye, Mutton, Flanagan , Logan (Sammons 74), Thorley ©, Glover (Matthews 58), Singh (Phipps 76), Carline       Subs Unused: Crane, Wright