21.4.2003

 

Dr. Martens Southern Premier League

Hednesford Town

Moss (85), Piearce (88)

Worcester City

(0) 2

.

(0) 0

 

Attendance

MotM

Current Form

Next Match

497

Emeka Nwadike

 

W L L L W D L L W W

 

Chelmsford City (A) 26.4.03

A fine performance from the Pitmen at Keys Park this afternoon all but confirmed their Southern League status for next season with a resounding victory over fifth-placed Worcester in this afternoon's Bank Holiday local clash

 

Buoyed by their win over Hinckley United at the weekend, Hednesford manager Chris Brindley was forced into a change between the sticks after Michael Bingham was ruled out due to injury. Youngster Adam Jenkins came back into the side to replace Bingham, with Graham Lancashire appearing amongst the substitutes after missing the game at Hinckley

 

Worcester's early-season title challenge had faltered many weeks previously, with John Barton's men dropping away from the top three after a run of form that had seen them win only twice in their past nine games. Barton dropped striker Mark Owen after the striker had failed to score in his past five games, replacing him with recent signing from Bishop's Cleeve, Mitch Counsell. Former Hednesford favourite Paul Carty had to be content with a place on the bench after returning from injury recently

 

David Berks - who played well at Hinckley on Saturday - was straight into the game for the Pitmen in the third minutes, twisting and turning as he beat Dan Jones before sending over a fine cross that was headed over the crossbar by skipper Steve Piearce

 

Piearce was involved for the Pitmen once again four minutes, playing an incisive pass through to Luke Corbett that his strike partner bundled straight into the hands of the highly-rated Danny McDonnell

 

David Moss got involved in midfield for the Pitmen on thirteen minutes, winning the ball back from John Holloway after initially gifting the Worcester man the ball and playing Anthony Maguire forward down the wing. Youngster Maguire drifted inside of Allan Davies and tried his luck with a curling effort from a tight angle that dipped over McDonnell's crossbar

 

Worcester had offered very little in the final third so far, with Darren Middleton's speculative effort from thirty yards the closest they came to anything resembling a chance on seventeen minutes, firing high and wide of Jenkins' goal

 

A shot from Piearce on twenty minutes looked as though it was sneaking into the far corner of the net, only for his low effort to drift inches wide of McDonnell's right-hand post as everyone watched the ball wide

 

Brindley headed into the arms of McDonnell on twenty-three minutes with a weak header from a Berks corner, before Corbett had the ball in the net for the Pitmen three minutes later after looping a header over McDonnell and into the net. However, an earlier offside flag from assistant Mr Moran denied Corbett his goal and handed Worcester a free-kick instead

 

Another delightful cross from Berks on the half-hour mark was played into the path of Moss, whose first-time shot from just inside the Worcester penalty area was shanked high over the Hednesford end stand

 

Middleton finally got the better of Brindley on thirty-four minutes, getting goal-side of the veteran defender but shooting wide as he tried his luck with a shot on the run

 

Carl Heeley was booked for a poor challenge on Piearce on thirty-eight minutes, followed a minute later by a caution for Emeka Nwadike for a late challenge on Holloway in the centre circle

 

 The first-half had proved a fairly poor spectacle from both sides, with the Pitmen slightly shading it on chances so far. They started the second half reasonably, playing some neat football and continued to create chances

 

A free-kick from Berks on forty-nine minutes was claimed by McDonnell, who beat the onrushing Darren Simkin to the high ball before the keeper tipped a long-range effort from Maguire over the crossbar two minutes later as the Pitmen continued to press

 

A fine save from McDonnell on the hour mark saw him turn a wicked free-kick from Berks over the bar for a Hednesford corner, with Maguire's resultant corner inches too high for the incoming Brindley to head home at the far post

 

The Pitmen made their first change of the afternoon a minute later, with Stuart Lake coming on in place of winger Maguire to add to the numbers in midfield 

 

The experienced John Snape responded for the away side on sixty-seven minutes, striking a rising shot from fully twenty-five yards out that just cleared Jenkins' crossbar

 

 Owen and Carty had come on for the visitors, as well as the experienced Pat Lyons, as Worcester looked for some inspiration up front in what had been a disappointing attacking display from Worcester so far

 

Owen was pulled up for an offside decision on seventy-four minutes, just as he broke clear of the Hednesford defence as shaped to shoot past Jenkins from twelve yards out

 

Francis was the Pitmen's second substitution of the afternoon with thirteen minutes remaining, coming on in place of left-back Bryan Small up front to add his height to the Pitmen's forward line

 

Moss linked up well with Ashley Williams on eighty-one minutes, playing a quick one-two with the youngster before slipping the ball into the path of Piearce. Hednesford's top scorer got his feet mixed up as he shaped to shoot and scuffed his effort wide of goal

 

With eight minutes remaining, Lancashire was the Pitmen's final throw of the dice as he was brought on up front in place of Berks

 

The Pitmen laid siege to the Worcester goal, and finally got their reward with a late brace to seal three points. On eighty-five minutes, Piearce hung up a cross from the right that was turned back across goal by Corbett. Moss timed his run to perfection to turn Corbett's ball home from close range and spark celebrations behind the goal

 

With their tails up, the hosts made sure of all three points with a second goal on eighty-eight minutes. Lake played Corbett in down the Worcester right, with the Cheltenham youngster pulling the ball back into the danger area, where Piearce was on hand to gleefully tap home from a yard out to score his eighteenth goal of the season

 

The final whistle was greeted with joy and relief by all of a Hednesford persuasion, as the Pitmen knew that three points pretty much confirmed their place in the Southern Premier League for 2003-2004. They travel to Chelmsford City on Saturday for their final away trip of the campaign knowing that anything positive should officially confirm their safety after all

 

Hednesford Town: Jenkins, Williams, Small (Francis 77), Simkin, Brindley, Nwadike, Moss, Maguire (Lake 61), Corbett, Piearce ©, Berks (Lancashire 82)       Subs Unused: Dodd, Rae

 

Worcester City: McDonnell, Davies, Jones (Carty 55), Heeley ©, Snape, Holloway, Middleton, Foy (Lyons 69), Webster, Counsell (Owen 65), Wilde      Subs Unused: Hadley, Parker

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