13.1.2011

Zamaretto Southern Premier League

Hednesford Town

Quinn (69)

Truro City

(0) 1

(0) 0

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394

Danny Quinn

L W L W W L L W L W

Chippenham Town (A) 29.1.11

The Pitmen quickly returned to winning ways this afternoon with a narrow win over runaway league leaders Truro City at Keys Park to lift Rob Smith's side up into seventh place in the Zamaretto Premier League table

Having been narrowly beaten at second-placed Salisbury City last weekend, Smith's players returned to Keys Park looking for a reaction against the big-spending title favourites. Smith elected to stick with the same side that has started at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium as striker Nick Wellecomme and winger Ross Davidson made their home debuts after joining the club from local rivals Stafford Rangers in the New Year

Truro - eight points clear at the top of the table at the start of play - were in the midst of a ten-game unbeaten run, coming off the back of a 3-0 win over Hemel Hempstead Town last Saturday. Manager Lee Hodges was forced into two changes to his side for today's long trip up to Staffordshire as top scorer Marcus Martin was ruled out due to a shoulder injury and was replaced by Dan Smith. There was one further change as Les Afful failed a late fitness test on an ankle problem and allowed Andrew Watkins to return to the side. Former Stevenage Borough striker Barry Hayles - the scourge of Hednesford teams past - was also missing as he was serving the first of a three-match suspension

It was a bitterly cold afternoon, with the Keys Park pitch hard and bobbly at kick-off and a large part of the turf still in the shade as the main stand obscured it. The visitors made a bright start after winning the ball back from the kick-off as they broke quickly down the right through Barry McDonnell, who exchanged passes with Stewart Yetton before crossing low into the path of Smith, whose tame shot from twelve yards out was claimed by Dan Crane

Crane had to be alert to a defensive slip-up from skipper Liam Francis three minutes later as the defender's slack backpass was seized upon by Yetton, only for the goalkeeper to make a smothering stop at his near post to get the hosts out of trouble

Wellecomme was looking to make an immediate impact in a white shirt but was to be denied by Truro goalkeeper Martin Rice in the sixth minute as Jay Denny's long ball forwards saw the striker race onto the pass but was beaten to it by a smothering save from the former Plymouth Argyle stopper

A minute later, Quinn broke down the right flank and pulled the ball back across the face of the Truro six-yard box, only for Wellecomme to time his run a little too soon and watched the ball run off behind him and wide of goal

Wellecomme went close to grabbing an early debut goal in the tenth minute as he got on the end of Quinn's flick-on to get in behind Aaron Pugh before sending a low shot inches wide of the right-hand post with a shot across the face of goal

Good play from Martin Watts in the fourteenth minute stopped the lively Quinn in his tracks as he jockeyed the striker out of play after the former Heather St. Johns man had initially got goal side of him after a Davidson pass forward had found Quinn in on goal

Another good stop from Crane denied Truro in the seventeenth minute of a competitive game as McDonnell's pass into the penalty area was controlled well by Yetton before he laid the ball off to Watkins, only for Crane to make a last-ditch save at the feet of the striker from just four yards out to deny him a certain goal

Rice was again alert to the Pitmen's threat midway through the first half as Quinn turned provider for Wellecomme once more as he played a Davidson pass into the path of the experienced forward, only for the ball to run away from him slightly and allow Rice to make the save on the penalty spot

Quinn created an opening for himself three minutes later as he headed on a Cheyenne Dunkley pass and ran onto it himself, only to be denied by some stout defending from Steve Adams to turn the ball away for a corner before Quinn could get his shot away

A quick break from the visitors on twenty-nine minutes saw Yetton feed Joe Broad with a smart lay-off after holding off a challenge from Decio Gomes, only for the highly experienced midfielder to pull his shot well wide from twenty yards out

Davidson made a superb late run in behind the Truro defence on thirty-three minutes to break the visitors' offside trap and get on the end of a pass from the excellent Quinn, only to turn his effort well wide of goal as Rice managed to enough to put him off his stride just inside the penalty area

The new striker partnership of Quinn and Wellecomme was already looking promising, as the duo linked up again ten minutes before half-time with Crane's free-kick forwards volleyed into the path of Quinn by Wellecomme, only for the striker to tamely strike a low ball straight at Rice from sixteen yards out

Two minutes later, Dunkley was shown what was to be the first of a flurry of yellow cards in the game as he was booked for bringing Yetton down just inside the Hednesford half

Clements almost brought Keys Park to its feet on forty minutes as Wellecomme got in down the left and crossed from the byeline, prompting Adams to head the ball out of danger; the ball dropped to the feet of Clements, who struck a venomous volley from twenty-five yards out that flashed inches wide of the post

With two minutes of the half remaining, Denny won the ball in midfield and played Clements into space; the former Crewe man took the ball forwards and looked to pick Quinn out, only for the ball to run away from the striker before he could get a shot away

It had been a fine display so far from the hosts, who had more than matched the league leaders and could probably count themselves unlucky not to be ahead after creating several good opportunities. Quinn and Wellecomme had been a severe threat to the Truro back line, who had worked hard to stop the pair from notching in the first period

Three minutes after the restart, Clements laid the ball off to Denny, who was a good forty yards from goal but had the audacity to try a first-time chipped effort over Rice that drifted over the crossbar and into the supporters gathered in the Hednesford end

 

On fifty minutes, a Clements corner kick was cleared by the away side but only as far as Campion, who floated the ball back into the box from the wing and found Quinn, whose deft flick-header from six yards out beat Rice but also skipped inches past the post

Just a minute later, Watts sent over a fine cross-field pass from the left side of midfield into the right-hand corner of the penalty area, where Yetton beat Francis to the ball to turn it back into the six-yard box. An almighty scramble followed as the Pitmen struggled to clear their lines, with Gomes eventually sticking out a long leg to clear the ball away from the clutches of Watkins

Francis followed Dunkley into the book a minute later as he was booked for an accumulation of fouls and body-checks on Truro players, most notably Yetton

Good build-up play from the league leaders on fifty-five minutes saw Yetton supply the ball to Smith, whose run and cross was aimed at Watkins but had a little too much on it as the ball skipped away from the striker and into the arms of Crane

Wellecomme went closest of anyone to opening the scoring three minutes later as a Denny corner from the right was flicked on at the near post by Francis and into the path of the striker, whose acrobatic volley from six yards out was superbly turned away from point-blank range by Rice. A brilliant instinctive stop

Three minutes later, the hosts did have the ball in the net as youngster Ben Bailey's miscued shot from long-range ran kindly for Wellecomme, who turned the ball past Rice from eight yards out. However, the striker had strayed offside before Bailey had struck the ball and referee Mr Strain ruled the goal out

Truro's first booking of the afternoon came to Broad on the hour mark as he was shown a yellow card by Mr Strain for a foul on Denny that the midfielder and the Hednesford bench took exception to

A deep cross from Dunkley out on the right flank was aimed at Wellecomme once more on sixty-three minutes, but the striker somehow failed to get a connection on the ball as he beat Rice to the cross, with the ball running harmlessly away for a goal kick

Quinn was booked by Mr Strain two minutes later for kicking the ball away and stopping Rice from taking a quick goal kick after Wellecomme's rangy pass into him had run away on the hard, bobby turf

The Pitmen finally grabbed the crucial goal that they had deserved on sixty-nine minutes as Quinn struck a memorable goal to make it six goals in seven games for the striker; Denny appeared to have brought Watkins down in the centre circle, only for Mr Strain to see no wrong-doing and waved play on. With Truro still arguing about the foul, the Pitmen worked the ball out to Campion on the left, whose cross was chested down by Quinn just inside the penalty area before he brilliantly turned on a sixpence and volleyed an unstoppable scissor kick beyond the reach of Rice and into the far corner of the net. As the Pitmen celebrated, McConnell and Andrew Taylor both continued to argue with Mr Strain about the foul on Watkins and were both booked for taking their protests too far

Jake Ash came on in place of Watkins on seventy-three minutes as an auxiliary forward as Truro looked for a different approach up front, having struggled to get any change out of the solid back line of Dunkley and Gomes all afternoon

Ash's first touch two minutes later was to loop a header up and over the crossbar from a Taylor corner kick after he had beaten Dunkley to the ball at the near post

With thirteen minutes remaining, Denny and Campion linked up once more to play Clements into space - the midfielder looked to pick out Quinn with a threaded ball through the Truro defence but got a little too much on it and allowed Rice to make the save

The visitors made their second change of the afternoon with ten minutes remaining as Scott Walker came on in place of the tiring Smith to add more width to the left-hand side and supply crosses for Ash and Yetton

Clements tested Rice with a fearsome long-range effort two minutes later as Denny won the ball back and laid it off to his fellow midfielder, whose first-time effort from nearly thirty yards out was held at the second attempt by Rice

A quick break from the Pitmen with six minutes remaining saw Bailey play Quinn through on goal, with the striker checking back onto his right foot on the edge of the area but firing a low shot straight at Rice

More cards followed for both sides, as Rice and Wellecomme were both booked on eighty-six minutes as the pair squared up to each other after Rice had taken exception to Wellecomme's challenge on him

Sixty seconds later, Broad's deep free-kick was cleared by the Pitmen back to the taker, who shanked his rebounded effort high and wide of goal from twenty yards out under pressure from Denny

Ash headed a great chance over the crossbar for Truro as they finished the game strongly, leaping to reach a corner kick from Taylor on eighty-eight minutes but headed a yard or so over the woodwork from six yards out

An error by Gomes in the final minute of the game almost gifted Truro a late equaliser, as his attempted clearance hit Ash and ran kindly to Walker, whose angled shot from the corner of the six-yard box ended up flying past the angle of the post and crossbar with Crane looking to cover his near post area

The final chance of the game fell to Danny Clay in the last minute of three added minutes, as he headed McConnell's angled cross over the crossbar from twelve yards out

It had been a thoroughly entertaining encounter that the hosts had deserved on the balance of play, having the better of the chances in the game and being the more direct and forceful of the two teams throughout. The strike partnership of Wellecomme and Quinn continues to excite the supporters, with Quinn's superb performance today deserving of the man of the match nomination. The Pitmen return to Keys Park next Saturday when they play host to mid-table dwellers Banbury United, a side that produced a stoic display in last season's 0-0 draw between the two sides

Hednesford Town: Crane, Gomes, Campion, Dunkley , Francis © , Denny, Bailey, Clements, Wellecomme , Quinn , Davidson      Subs Unused: Patterson, Brown, Robinson, Gibson, Keenan

Truro City: Rice , McConnell , Watts, Pugh, Adams, Clay, Taylor © , Broad , Yetton, Watkins (Ash 73), Smith (Walker 80)      Subs Unused: Jeannin, Brooks