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UniBond Northern Premier League

Hednesford Town

March (21), Hadland (48), Oliver (90)

Whitby Town

(1) 3

(0) 0



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Danny Bacon


Leek Town (A) 3.2.07

Hednesford got back to winning ways this afternoon after three league games without a win to record their first three points of 2007 with a win over Whitby Town at Keys Park, avenging the 2-0 defeat handed to them by the Seasiders two weeks ago at the Turnbull Ground

Manager Phil Starbuck continued to shuffle his pack as he looked to arrest the mini-slump of three games without a win in three UniBond Premier League. Striker Danny Bacon had arrived at the club in midweek from Lincoln City and came straight into the side in place of fellow new signing Dean Oliver in the first of three change to the side; skipper Chris White returned to the team in place of Mario Pedro and Dave Whittaker came back into contention after some off-the-field issues, replacing Darren Alexander

Whitby player/manager Lee Nogan had overseen an unbeaten start to the New Year which had lifted his side into the play-off places in the process. He also made three changes to the side that had beaten the Pitmen two Saturdays previously as he was without the services of injured duo David Campbell and Aron Wilford, replacing them with Jack Norton and James Drinkall. The final change to the Seasiders' side saw Nogan drop himself and bringing back top scorer Danny Brunskill to the side up front

Young Whitby goalkeeper Norton was quickly into the action in the sixth minute as he turned away a low driven shot from Whittaker after he had turned quickly on Phil Hadland's incisive pass from the right flank and fired in a shot at goal

Four minutes later, Iain Screaton's long throw from the right was headed downwards by Tom Marshall and into the path of debutant Bacon, whose rushed effort dribbled wide of the near post

Bacon wasted the Pitmen's best chance of the opening exchanges in the thirteenth minute of the game as he volleyed his effort high over the crossbar from six yards out after Ross Adams had beaten Tom Reid down the right-wing and crossed for the former Hucknall Town man

Three minutes later, a long kick forwards from Ryan Young was flocked on by Whittaker and into the path of Bacon, who showed great composure to take a touch and lay the ball off to skipper Chris White, only for the Hednesford midfielder to lift his shot over the crossbar from eighteen yards out

Whitby had been ineffective going forwards so far and could only muster a wayward header from Matty Appleby in the eighteenth minute from a deflected Anthony Ormerod cross

The hosts took a deserved lead in the twenty-first minute of the game as Bacon did well to escape the attentions of Reid and sent over a delightful cross to the far post, where Jamie March was on hand to direct a downward header into the turf, lopping over the reach of Norton and nestling in the corner of the net for March's first-ever Hednesford goal

Hednesford almost made it 2-0 just three minutes later as Hadland broke through the rickety Whitby defensive line and attempted to lob the onrushing Norton from the edge of the penalty area. The stand-in stopper managed to get enough on the ball to push it away from danger but only succeeded in playing the ball back to Hadland, whose follow-up shot was weak and allowed Norton to smother the ball at the second attempt

The returning Drinkall looked to catch Young out on twenty-nine minutes as he picked up Tom Raw's pass and attempted a cheeky lob over the Hednesford stopper from the edge of the penalty area that was claimed by the goalkeeper on his six-yard line

Five minutes later, Adams swung in a deep corner kick from the left flank that was headed back across goal by Whittaker before Gary Sucharewycz headed tamely wide of the upright from ten yards out, under pressure from Appleby

On forty minutes, Reid saw his firmly-struck effort from long-range charged down by Marshall before Graham Robinson fired the rebounded ball over the crossbar from twenty-five yards out

Good hold-up play from Danny Brunskill sixty seconds later saw him play Drinall into acres of space just outside the Hednesford penalty area, only for the midfielder to drive his shot wide of goal

 Three minutes before half-time, Hadland had the crowd on their feet with an audacious lob from the halfway line that sailed over Norton but just missed the target as it dropped onto the roof of the Whitby net

The Pitmen had been good value for their lead at the break, limiting Whitby to half-chances and long-range efforts. Starbuck sent his side out with the expectation of more of the same and they delivered a strong start to the half with a second goal of the afternoon

On forty-eight minutes, a short back pass from Whitby skipper Appleby was seized upon by the pacy Hadland, who nipped in between both Reid and Phil Brumwell to fire past the advancing Norton

Hadland's fine start to the second period almost brought the Pitmen another goal just five minutes later as he picked up a loose pass from Robinson on the halfway line and was allowed to run all the way to the edge of the Whitby box before playing Bacon through, only for Norton to push his volley away from goal

Appleby looked to make up for his defensive howler on fifty-six minutes as he picked the ball up thirty yards from goal and thumped a ball at goal but saw his effort sail wide of the target

The visitors made an attacking change on fifty-eight minutes as Stephen Thomas came on for the hapless Reid and York City loanee Bryan Stewart replaced the anonymous Dave McTiernan to give the Seasiders more legs going forwards

Young plucked a cross from Stewart out of the air on sixty-two minutes as he was put under pressure from top scorer Brunskill at his near post before Omerod cut inside of March down the Whitby right two minutes later and tried his luck with an angled drive that was well wide of Young's near post

Whittaker could have wrapped the game up for the hosts on sixty-five minutes as another defensive lapse from Whitby saw Brumwell give the ball away to the Hednesford striker, only for the former Witton Albion man to scuff his shot well wide of goal from twenty yards out

Robinson headed just wide for the away side on sixty-nine minutes from an Appleby free-kick, flicking the ball on at the near post but missed the target by a couple of feet

The Pitmen thought they had got their third goal twenty minutes from time a Screaton scrambled the ball home after a move involving Whittaker, Hadland and March, only for the referee disallowed the goal as Screaton was adjudged to have handled the ball as he bundled the ball over the line

Appleby's dangerous cross from the left almost caught Young out on seventy-four minutes as his lopping ball into the box was tipped over the crossbar by Young as he took no chances with the ball heading towards goal

Screaton can count himself lucky to remain on the pitch two minutes later as he was only shown a yellow card for what appeared to be an elbow on Brunskill, followed by an altercation with Drinkall who had taken exception to the young midfielder's challenge on the Whitby striker

Brunskill followed Screaton into the referee's notebook just three minutes later as he brought Marshall down just outside the Hednesford penalty area with a clumsy challenge to stop the defender from clearing his lines

Nogan had brought himself onto the pitch for the final moments in place of Raw and probably wished he'd stayed on the touchline with ten minutes left as he was flattened by Young in a clash between the pair as they challenged for a high ball. The Whitby players felt that Young should have been punished for the challenge but the referee disagreed and allowed Nogan to receive treatment from the physio

A minute later, Drinkall did well to turn past Suchrarewycz just inside the Pitmen's penalty area and hook a shot just over the crossbar with Young struggling to get across his goal

Sheffield United loanee Oliver was handed a late run out by Starbuck with six minutes remaining as he replaced Bacon, who was given a warm ovation from the home crowd after a fine home debut

Three successive corners from Ormerod cranked up the pressure on the Hednesford defence as Whitby looked for a goal that would get them back into the game to set up a grandstand finish. However, fine defending from Marshall, Sucharewycz and Adams denied the Seasiders a clear sight at goal


Young made an important save from Drinkall with five minutes of the game remaining as he palmed the midfielder's shot away from goal for another Whitby corner kick

Appleby’s eighty-seventh-minute free-kick was glanced on by Danny Farthing and into the path of Ormerod, who poked the ball wide first time at the far post


 Whitby’s best chance to get on the scoresheet came with a minute remaining as Ormerod turned provider with a fine right-wing cross, only for Drinkall to turn the ball straight at Young from just six yards out when he really should have scored


The Pitmen grabbed a third killer goal in added time as Screaton did well down the left flank and crossed for Oliver, who brought the cross down well before firing a shot beyond the reach of Norton across the face of the Whitby goal and into the far corner of the net


A fine response from the Pitmen to record their first win of the New Year after two indifferent results so far in January - made all the more important as news filtered through of a goalless draw for league leaders AFC Telford at home to Ashton United, meaning that the gap between the two sides is reduced to five points once more. Next Saturday sees the Pitmen head up to the north of the county to face Staffordshire rivals Leek Town at Harrison Park, looking to build on this morale-boosting three points

Hednesford Town: Young, Dyer, March, White ©, Marshall, Sucharewycz, Screaton , Hadland, Whittaker, Bacon (Oliver 84), Adams      Sub Unused: Pedro, Franklin

Whitby Town: Norton, Reid (Thomas 58), Brumwell, Appleby ©, Farthing, Robinson, McTiernan (Stewart 58), Drinkall, Raw (Nogan 77), Brunskill , Ormerod      Subs Unused: None

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