9.9.2017

Evo-Stik Northern Premier League

Hednesford Town

Rodgers (14), Glover (23), Thorley (84)

Sutton Coldfield Town

(2) 3

.

(0) 0

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

410

Tyler Lyttle

D L L W D W L L W

Coalville Town (A) 12.9.17

Seven crazy, crazy days at Keys Park - crazy even by the Pitmen's usual standards - ends with Rob Smith and Larry Chambers making a return to Keys Park to oversee a morale-boosting win over Sutton Coldfield Town

 

The previous week had been one of the most fast-paced in recent times at the club, with an F.A. Cup exit to Boston Town and a league defeat to Stourbridge the prelude to the events of Wednesday/Thursday, as Neil Tooth was dismissed as manager and replaced by the returning duo of Smith and Chambers. Smith went about his business quickly, bringing in Mark Swann as the first-team coach and releasing Kris Taylor. He also brought in two new faces ahead of the game, with Joe Fitzpatrick following Smith from AFC Telford and Irish U19 International Conor Levingston on a month's loan from Wolves. Joe Ballinger returned to the side in place of Lewis Wright, with Matt Martin coming in for his debut in place of Alex Melbourne. Fitzpatrick replaced the departed Taylor, whilst Danny Glover was restored to the starting line-up alongside Luke Rodgers up front

 

Sutton Coldfield had started the season in a similar vein to the way they had finished the last - inconsistent and struggling towards the foot of the table. Manager Richard Sneekes had lost striker Niall Flint recently to league rivals Matlock Town and had moved to fill the void by making the major signing of former Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County striker Marcus Tudgay overnight. Tudgay went straight into the side, playing up front alongside former Hednesford striker Gurjit Singh

 

Looking more balanced than in recent games, the Pitmen were a little wobbly in the opening exchanges, with a number of misplaced passes allowing Sutton Coldfield to push forwards

 

Gradually, however, the Pitmen started to take control of proceedings, with Martin doing well down the left on nine minutes and sending over a dangerous cross that just missed the heads of both Rodgers and Glover

 

A powerful header of Ballinger two minutes later just cleared the crossbar, rising highest to reach a James Lawrie corner kick and head narrowly over

 

The Pitmen's pressure told on fourteen minutes, as Rodgers finally broke his duck for the season after a superb move from their own half opened Sutton up; Tom Thorley did well to win the ball and play a superb through to Glover, who in turn played Rodgers in behind the Sutton defence. The veteran striker took his time to size up his options, before rifling a shot beyond the reach of Mason Springthorpe in the Sutton goal and into the net via a deflection off the post

 

Neat interplay involving Rodgers and Glover five minutes later saw the roles reversed, as Rodgers sent Glover away on goal, only for Aaron Birch to deny Glover a certain goal with a smothering block

 

Two minutes later, Glover grabbed his third goal of the season to double the Pitmen's advantage, as James Lawrie got in behind the Sutton defence down the right and pulled the ball back into the path of Glover, who finished smartly from ten yards out

 

Sutton mustered a response through Singh on the half hour, picking up the ball from deep and driving towards the penalty area, but his shot lacked power and was easily fielded by James Wren

 

Springthorpe was in action for Sutton once again on thirty-eight minutes, making a good save to palm away Glover's driven shot from goal and concede a corner. From the resultant kick from Lawrie, Ballinger was booked for a late tackle as he challenged for the ball

 

Wren frustrated Singh once more just before the half time break, making a great save low down to his right to deny the former Kidderminster man a certain goal at the far post by turning the ball away with his arm

 

There was a half-time change for the Pitmen up front, as goalscorer Rodgers was replaced by Jordan Nadat

 

Sutton came out with purpose at the start if the second half, forcing a series of corner kicks and free kicks without any real success. The Pitmen themselves created openings through set-pieces, also without any real penetration, as Thorley went closest on fifty-five minutes with a dipping shot that was easily saved by Springthorpe

 

Martin blotted his copybook on the hour mark, in an otherwise solid debut, by finding his name in the book after a late challenge on midfielder Nehemiah Zazi

 

Youngster Levingston was handed a swift debut by Smith on seventy-one minutes, coming on for Lawrie in midfield alongside the excellent Thorley

 

The frustrated figure of Nadat followed Ballinger and Martin into the referee's book on sixty-nine minutes, as he is booked for persistent fouling after being caught offside four times in the opening twenty-five minutes of the half

 

The Pitmen made their final change of the afternoon on seventy-six minutes, with youngster Chekaine Steele coming on for his debut in place of Martin, who had been treated for an injury minutes earlier

 

A neat piece of play down the Hednesford right on seventy-seven minutes saw the impressive Tyler Lyttle get in down the wing and send over a tempting cross that somehow missed everyone and drifted out of play

 

A lofted free-kick from the industrious Fitzpatrick almost presented Ben Bailey with a clear header on goal on seventy-nine minutes, but the ball in was slightly too high for the centre back to get to and the chance was gone

 

The Pitmen wrapped up all three points with six minutes to go, with Glover involved once more involved in the goal. A glorious slide-rule pass from Glover found Nadat in space in behind the Sutton defence, with Nadat showing good composure to hold the ball and pick out Thorley at the far post to cap a fine performance by tapping home a third goal

 

There was still time for Glover to test Springthorpe a final time on eighty-seven minutes, stinging the hands of the Sutton keeper with a low drive that was turned away

 

Hednesford players and supporters will have left the ground feeling a lot better than in recent games, although tougher tests will no doubt emerge in the next few weeks as Smith and Chambers feel their way back into the club. But, as a starting point, it's a not bad - three points, three goals and a clean sheet. Next up - in-form Coalville Town on Tuesday night at Owen Street

 

Hednesford Town: Wren, Lyttle, Ballinger , Bailey, Oji, Fitzpatrick, Lawrie (Levingston 71), Thorley ©, Glover, Rodgers (Nadat 45 ), M. Martin (Steele 76)      Subs Unused: Melbourne, Wright

 

Sutton Coldfield Town: Springthorpe, Smikle, Kelly (Mason 45), Birch ©, Morrison-Derbyshire, Barnes, Zazi, Webb, Tudgay, Singh (Lavell-Moore 70), Moseley      Subs Unused: Cleet, McMillan, Vincent 

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