31.10.2015

Vanarama National League North

Tamworth

Newton (31)

Hednesford Town

(1) 1

(0) 0

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

871

Tom James

W L D D W W L D L L

Solihull Moors (H) 14.11.15

The Pitmen suffer their second local derby reverse in a week this afternoon, as Bernard McNally's side followed up their defeat to Nuneaton Town with a further defeat to Tamworth at the Lamb. Defeat leaves the Pitmen only four points above the drop zone after just over a third of the season gone

 Looking for a response to last week's meek defeat to an impressive Nuneaton side, McNally made several changes to his side as he continued to look for the right blend in his inconsistent squad. Tom James returned to the side in place of Kennedy Digie, whilst Ahmed Obeng and Kyle Perry were restored to the forward positions in place of Nathan Modest and the injured Tom Thorley

Tamworth had made a good start to the season, with Andy Morrell making several key signings as The Lambs looked for a return to non-league's top table. Former Hednesford duo Ross Dyer and Elliott Durrell were two of Morrell's standout captures, with prolific former Leamington striker Danny Newton another impressive pre-season signing

 The flying Obeng looked to add to his season's tally in the first minute of the game, dragging a half-chance well wide of goal from the edge of the penalty area with the first chance of the contest

Tamworth were slow to exert their authority on proceedings, as Ben Bailey and his defence initially stood up well to the home side's early possession. Durrell's low drive from just outside the penalty area in the ninth minute was well blocked by Tyrone Williams, who threw himself in the way of the ball to divert it away from goal

Dan Crane was alert to the danger three minutes later, fisting away Dan Preston's flick-on after Durrell had found the tall centre back with a curling free-kick

From the resultant Durrell corner kick, Newton's free header was turned away from goal by Crane as Tamworth started to turn the screw

Crane was again to get the better of Newton midway through the first half, making a smothering save low down to deny the striker a shot on goal

A brief respite for the Pitmen came on twenty-seven minutes, as former Tamworth man James made a marauding run down the left and lashed a shot just wide of the post with a long-range effort  

It was Newton that was to eventually give Tamworth the lead on the half-hour mark, as the hosts eventually capitalised on their territorial advantage. A long, searching ball from Danny Racchi caught the Pitmen out, allowing Newton to race onto the pass and slot the ball past Crane from just inside the Hednesford penalty area

A run from Durrell, reminiscent of his time at Keys Park, saw the diminutive midfielder skip past a couple of challenges on thirty-seven minutes before unleashing a shot that whistled just past Crane's upright

 Former Tamworth man Phil Trainer felt he should have been awarded a penalty right on the stroke of half time, as he appeared to be pushed over by Tamworth keeper James Belshaw. The award would have been soft, however, and the game continued until the half time whistle

The Pitmen made a bright start to the second half, with Sean Williams firing narrowly over the crossbar early into the restart

A late offside flag denied Tamworth a clear run on goal a minute later, as Leon Mettam's through ball to Durrell saw the linesman flag Durrell after he had moved too soon towards the ball

Sean Williams tried his luck from a free kick on the hour mark, curling a shot in that had Belshaw scrambling across his goal to see it just over the crossbar

Crane continued his keen rivalry with Newton into the second half, claiming another ball at the feet of the striker to deny him a second goal of the game on sixty-four minutes

The Pitmen made their first substitution of the afternoon with nineteen minutes remaining, as the ineffective, disinterested Perry was taken off in place of new signing Danico Johnson

Trainer did have the ball in the net for the visitors on seventy-five minutes, as he turned a Sean Williams free-kick home, only to be denied by a late offside flag on the far side

The Pitmen had a glorious chance to level matters two minutes later, with substitute Johnson going close to having an immediate impact; picking up the ball inside the box, Johnson did well to create half a yard of space and fire across Belshaw's goal and strike the foot of the far post with his low drive

The tiring Andy Todd was replaced by the fresher legs of Paul Ennis with eleven minutes remaining, as the Pitmen were lifted by Johnson's great chance to rescue a point

This was followed a few moments later with the introduction of Modest in place of the hard-running Obeng up front

As it was, the final minutes were frustrating for the Pitmen as Belshaw and his defence coped well with the away side's perceived threat. A succession of corner kicks and crosses from the left were well fielded by Preston and fellow centre back Steve Tomassen

Another defeat sees the Pitmen drop a place in the league table, with Tamworth now up into the play-off places as a consequence of today's result. The third of Hednesford's tough local derbies follow next Saturday, as high-flying Solihull Moors visit Keys Park as Hednesford look to avoid an unwanted triple of derby defeats

Tamworth: Belshaw, Burns, Warlow, Racchi, Tomassen, Preston, Durrell (Dyer 71), Clarke (Roberts 74), Newton, Mettam (Morrell 84), Green       Subs Unused: Strong, Davies

Hednesford Town: Crane, T. Williams, James, Bailey ©, Regan, Trainer, S. Williams, Obeng (Modest 86), Perry (Johnson 71), Thomas, Todd (Ennis 79)      Subs Unused: Digie, Disney