24.1.2015

Vanarama Conference North

Worcester City

Geddes (23), Symons (70)

Hednesford Town

Rushton (1), J. Thomas (34)

(2) 2

(2) 2

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

612

James Hurst

L L D W D W W L W D

Gloucester City (H) 28.1.15

Both sides had to be content with a point apiece in today's controversial re-arranged game between the Pitmen and Worcester, although more composed finishing from either team could have sealed all three points as the Pitmen bossed the first half and Worcester had the better of the chances in the second period

The Pitmen arrived at Aggborough for the second time in a month with no new injury concerns, allowing Rob Smith the relative luxury of being able to pick from a fully fit squad. Despite his two-goal heroics last weekend, Marvin Robinson was dropped back to the bench and was replaced in the starting line up by Steve Diggin

Worcester's form since their F.A. Cup heroics has been patchy at best, with their last win coming back on 20th December against Stalybridge Celtic. This had halted their rapid progress up the table, having made a slow start to the season before their cup run

The away side came out of the traps from the kick-off and were rewarded for their enterprising start with a goal in the first minute. A great run from Glenn Walker down the left wing saw him drift past a couple of challenges and get to the byeline, before pulling the ball back into the path of Nick Rushton. The Wrexham loanee hit a first time shot beyond the reach of Nathan Vaughan and into the net to register his first goal for the club since joining last week

Boosted by the early strike, Hednesford continued to push forward as they looked to build on their opener. A Darren Campion corner on five minutes caused chaos in the Worcester defence, with Vaughan eventually claiming the ball in front of a number of Hednesford players

  Worcester's response came through the pacy Daniel Nti, who forced Paul McCone into a goal-saving block to divert his shot away for a corner kick. The resultant Sean Geddes cross found the head of the recently returned Aaron Brown, who glanced his effort just wide of Dan Crane's right-hand post

A lively opening to the game continued in the eighth minute as another great run from Walker down the left saw him cross for his good friend Diggin, who bundled the ball wide from a great position from eight yards out

Richard Batchelor was on hand to make a superb smothering block on seventeen minutes to deny Worcester's Connor Gater a certain goal at the far post as a deep cross from Geddes dropped kindly for him

Following the farcical refereeing decision to abandon the game on Boxing Day by a weak official, the Hednesford fans felt aggrieved once again on twenty-three minutes as a run from Gater appeared to cross the touchline not once, but twice, as the left-back brought the ball forwards. Despite the protests, Worcester were allowed to play on and win a free-kick twenty-five yards from goal following a foul by Ben Bailey on Mike Symons. Geddes stepped up and fired a superb free-kick beyond the reach of Crane to equalise for the 'home' side

Bailey was the first player to get his name taken by the referee on the half-hour mark, following a foul on Nti just outside the Hednesford penalty area

The Pitmen took the lead once more in this crazy league encounter on thirty-four minutes - and what a goal it was, as loanee Jack Thomas scored his first-ever senior goal in spectacular fashion. Bailey's long throw was partially cleared by Brown, clearing his lines only as far as Thomas, who was lurking thirty yards out. The youngster allowed the ball to drop to him before executing ain inch-perfect lobbed volley over the head of Vaughan and into the far corner of the net

Good link-up play involving Geddes and Gater set up Symons on thirty-eight minutes, but the big man's turn and shot only succeeded in finding the Hednesford fans in the stand behind the goal

 

Gater was guilty of a shocking miss on forty-two minutes, as Crane went wandering outside his penalty area and got his pocket picked by the quick thinking Geddes. The playmaker squared the ball to Gater, who somehow fired over the bar as he was closed down by McCone and James Hurst

 

A neat through ball from Osborne in the final minute of the half found Rushton in behind the Worcester defence, but his weak shot was easily fielded by Vaughan

 

The Pitmen had had the better of the play and chances in a keenly competed first half, but it was Worcester who were to have the more productive second period as they looked for a way back into the game

 

Gater had another great chance to bring his side level on fifty-five minutes, picking up a Geddes free-kick and driving his shot well wide of goal from an excellent position in the penalty area

 

Despite Worcester's bright start to the second half, the Pitmen had a glorious chance to make the three points almost safe on fifty-seven minutes; Steve Diggin was played in behind the Worcester defence by Osborne, with the burly striker somehow failing to find the net as his shot missed the far post by a matter of inches

 

Rob Smith made the brave decision to change the formation of his side on fifty-nine minutes in an attempt to stifle Worcester's creativity in midfield - on came midfielder Tom Thorley, replacing goalscorer Rushton

 

Symons was booked for Worcester for showing clear dissent, followed soon after by Batchelor after a poor challenge on Geddes

 

The hosts did eventually wear down the Hednesford resistance on seventy minutes after three successive corner kicks had been cleared by the overworked Pitmen back line. Ellis Deeney's long-range effort was blocked but rebounded neatly into the path of Symons, who turned the ball past Crane from an angle to level the game once more

 

The Pitmen made further changes to their side on seventy-nine minutes with the double change of Marvin Robinson and George McGee, coming on for Thomas and Diggin respectively

 

Worcester thought they had won the game with five minutes remaining, as Brown's pass set up Wayne Thomas, whose effort was brilliantly saved by Crane. The rebound dropped back to Thomas, who acrobatically turned the ball home. Worcester's delight was somewhat limited, however, as an earlier offside flag chalked the goal off

 

Both sides, on balance, will probably be reasonably happy with a point from a typically scrappy, frenetic local derby, although the Pitmen will be smarting from the supposed injustice of having to replay a game they felt they had already won once. The draw keeps Hednesford in contention for a play-off berth, something they could step into with a win over struggling Gloucester City when they visit Keys Park on Tuesday night in another re-arranged encounter

Worcester City: Vaughan ©, Haynes, Jackman, Hutchinson, W. Thomas, Brown, Nti (Collins 88), Deeney, Symons, Geddes, Gater (Dunkley 65)      Subs Unused: Wright, Khan, Veiga

 

Hednesford Town: Crane, Hurst, Campion ©, Bailey, McCone, J. Thomas (Robinson 79), Osborne, Walker, Diggin (McGee 79), Rushton (Thorley 59), Batchelor      Subs Unused: Melbourne, Westwood

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