Dr. Martens Southern Premier League


Slater (12), French (55), Simkin (85) (OG)

Hednesford Town

Lamey (80), (90)

(1) 3

(0) 2 




Current Form

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Ryan Young



Lancaster City (A) 29.11.03

The Pitmen's good run of recent form is now well behind them as they are beaten for the second game in a row at a wet and wild Weston-Super-Mare this evening, despite a late salvo from substitute Nathan Lamey to rescue something for his side

Despite losing to away-day specialists Newport County at the weekend, manager Barry Powell stuck with the same XI that had started the last two games as he looked to build some consistency and understanding into his side. Carl Palmer was looking to continue his fine spell of recent form after three man of the match performances in a row from the flame haired midfield dynamo

Weston returned to Woodspring Park off the back of a sound defeat to Worcester City on Saturday, leaving the Seagulls sitting down in a sixteenth position in the Dr. Martens League table ahead of tonight's game. The hosts suffered a blow ahead of kick-off as regular keeper Stuart Jones was injured in the warm-up which saw Peter Trego - a part-time footballer who played cricket professionally for Somerset as a full-time job - called into the first XI as stopper for the night in Jones's place

It was a horrible evening down in Somerset as the rain and wind relentlessly battered the seaside town ahead of kick-off. The Pitmen made a great start to the game from the kick-off and almost grabbed a goal within the first minute of the game as Chris Gray's pass sliced the Weston defence wide open and presented Anthrobus with a chance to score, only for stand-in keeper Trego to make a fine save to his left to turn the striker's goalbound shot away from goal

Weston recovered from the early warning sign and got to grips with the slippery surface far better than the Pitmen in the opening stages of the game. Justin Skinner sent Jon French way with a lovely clipped ball through the middle of the Hednesford defence in the eighth minute, but Ryan Young was alert to the danger and just beat the striker to the ball to clear from his penalty area

The hosts were rewarded for the more enterprising start of the two clubs with the opening goal of the evening on ten minutes. Stuart Slater - a former Premier League player with the likes of West Ham and Ipswich Town - whipped in a free-kick from the left wing towards the near post which appeared to be an easy claim for Young at his far post. However, the ball took a wicked deflection off Darren Simkin as he attempted to turn the ball away and took the ball past Young and into the net. Despite the deflection, the goal was credited to the veteran winger and Weston had an early lead

Hednesford were really struggling with the conditions, playing a number of misplaced passes around the pitch in a generally disjointed first-half performance that presented possession back to Weston again and again. One such loose pass from Alex Gibson saw Slater pick the ball up and played Skinner through with a slide-rule pass, only for Chris Brindley to produce a fine sliding challenge in the rain to dispossess Skinner as he looked to pull the trigger

In the nineteenth minute, Michael Jackson's lofted ball into the Hednesford penalty area bounced around before falling at the feet of Matt Rose, who had appeared on the left hand corner of the Pitmen's penalty area. His firmly stuck shot from twenty yards out bounced along the wet turf before Young palmed the ball away from danger

Gibson was alert to the danger four minutes later as he headed a Slater free-kick off the line after another inswinging ball from the winger almost dropped straight into the Hednesford net as he had tried his luck from range with a quickly taken ball in

Midfielder Paul Hunt was denied by Young on the half-hour mark as he raced out of his penalty area to block Hunt's shot with his legs after a through ball from Jackson had caught the Hednesford defence flat-footed

Weston continued to press a one-paced Hednesford defence that was really struggling with the conditions, with Slater crossing for French on thirty-three minutes only for the striker to tamely turn the ball wide of goal rather than test Young from ten yards out

At the other end, the Pitmen had been limited to half-chances from set-pieces with Les Hines unusually struggling to find his range from free-kicks and corners. One well-taken corner from the left-back on thirty-seven minutes finally found a man in sky blue, as his out-swinging ball was met by Brindley, whose subsequent header was cleared off the line by the retreating Skinner

Hunt made a driving run into the Hednesford penalty area four minutes later before playing the ball into the path of Tony Davis, only for the forward to get the ball stuck under his feet as he shaped to shoot which allowed Simkin to recover and clear the ball from the danger zone

Billy Clark headed just over the crossbar from a Jackson cross on forty-one minutes before the Simkin drilled a long-range shot along the floor at goal a minute before half-time that Trego fielded with relative ease

Powell's half-time pep talk failed to raise his side's spirits, as they continued to struggle with the conditions and Weston's attacking approach to the game. The influential Slater tricked his way past Gibson on forty-eight minutes and picked out Davis, only for Brindley to do enough to put the striker off which saw Davis weakly poke the ball into Young's arms

Carl Palmer's limited influence on the game was finally broken on fifty-two minutes as he won the ball back in midfield and drove forwards before lashing a great effort just wide of Trego's right-hand post. Close from the in-form midfield man

Weston took advantage of this as doubled their lead on fifty-five minutes with a fine move that carved open the Hednesford defence with ease; Slater and Matt Rose played a quick one-two with each other which gave Slater time and space down the left to pick out French in the six-yard box, who turned Slater's low cross past Young from close range

The away side looked devoid of ideas or inspiration, despite skipper Steve Palmer looking to shake up his side by constantly encouraging his troops. Hines fired just wide with a slightly optimistic effort from long range on fifty-eight minutes, followed by another long-range effort from Simkin from Carl Palmer's pass that was lifted over the crossbar and into the small group of Hednesford fans gathered behind Trego's goal

Manager Powell made his first substitution of the game on sixty-two minutes, as Chris Gray was replaced by youngster Anthony Maguire in a straight swap down the right flank

Powell made an attacking change three minutes later as he brought Lamey on for the out-of-touch Steve Evans, who, alongside the already-substituted Gray, had barely had a kick all evening against a well-organised Weston side

Lamey was straight into the game, playing a neat one-two with Mark Danks on sixty-eight minutes before pushing his way past Clark and firing well wide of goal as he dragged a cross-shot wide of Trego's far post

Anthrobus went one-on-one with Trego in seventy minutes as he bustled his way past Hunt and bore down on goal, but was harshly pulled up for a foul on the defender in the build-up as he shaped to shoot; on closer inspection, it certainly looked as though Hunt had slipped on the turf rather than any contact he had with the big striker in the wild-up to the chance

Danks had struggled to create anything of real note in a rare off-colour evening for the youngster, who had been in fine form up to the weekend's game against Newport. He was replaced on seventy-five minutes by Damien Charie as Powell looked for something different from his team in the final fifteen minutes

A well-taken corner kick from Hines saw the Pitmen build pressure on the Weston defence on seventy-eight minutes as the hosts struggled to clear their lines and conceded three corners in a row

The pressure was to pay dividends on eighty minutes as the Pitmen found a route back into the game through Lamey; Steve Palmer's long, searching ball appeared to catch out substitute Mark Cherry, whose weak backwards header landed at the feet of Lamey, who darted in behind the Weston defence before firing confidently past Trego from just inside the penalty area. Game on

Brindley was pushed into an attacking role by Powell for the final minutes to add more height and physical threat to the Pitmen's front line as they looked for an unlikely leveller, with Steve Palmer dropping into a more defensive role to cover for Brindley's absence at the back. They were nearly caught by a quick break from the home side on eighty-two minutes as Jackson and Skinner combined to play Clark in, only for Young to make a fine smothering stop at his near post

The Pitmen's over-exuberance going forwards was to cost them three minutes later as Rose broke into space vacated by Hines down the Weston right to latch onto a clearance from Ian Howell and raced into the Hednesford penalty area. His cross towards French was a little too far in front of the striker, but was indadvertedly turned into his own net by Simkin, who had tracked back to follow French but could only watch on in horror as his attempted clearance bounced off his leg and into the net from a couple of yards out


And yet the Pitmen continued to press, despite conceding what looked to be a killer third goal, setting up a nervy finish for the hosts with a goal in the final minute of normal time. A lofted pass from Maguire found Lamey goal side of Cherry once more, with the former Moor Green man unleashing an unstoppable shot beyond the reach of Trego and into the far corner of the net. A superb, instinctive goal from Lamey

Despite late pressure in and around the Weston penalty area, the Pitmen fell short of earning themselves a point in the rain and trudged off having once again been undone with an early goal in the game to set the tone of the ninety minutes, much as they had done on Saturday against Newport. Powell's frustrated troops remain in sixth place in the league table despite the defeat and take a break from their play-off push at the weekend when they make the long journey up to UniBond Premier League side Lancaster City in the second round of the F.A. Trophy

Weston-Super-Mare: Trego, Rose, Howell, Jarman (Cherry 76), Clark, Hunt (Benton 66), Jackson, Slater, Davis, French, Skinner     Subs Unused: Hodge, Lott, Jones

Hednesford Town: Young, Gibson, Hines, S. Evans (Lamey 65), Brindley, Simkin, C. Palmer, S. Palmer ©, Anthrobus, Danks (Charie 75), Gray (Maguire 62)     Subs Unused: Dodd, P. Evans