22.3.2014

Skrill North

Hednesford Town

Osborne (19), (85), Robinson (88), (90)

Workington

(1) 4

(0) 0

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

490

Tom Thorley

W W D L L W L L W W

Workington (H) 22.3.14

The Pitmen kept hold of third place in the Skrill North this evening, courtesy of their second win on the bounce after scoring three late goals to see off the spirited challenge of basement club Workington at Keys Park

Having turned around their fortunes in last week's 3-1 win at Colwyn Bay, Rob Smith's Pitmen returned home looking to go on another run of form to cement their place in this season's play-offs. The departures of Neil Harvey and Nathan Blissett in midweek saw the Pitmen rotating their squad once again with new signing Danny Glover coming straight into the side up front alongside fit-again Paul Sullivan

Workington have spent the majority of the campaign in and around the bottom three, with Ian McDonald's side yet to win an away game in the league this term. Their trip to Staffordshire had been hit by the unavailability of a number of key players, further adding to a mounting expectation that the Reds will drop into the Evo-Stik Premier League at the end of the campaign

Looking to make a similar start to last week's flyer at Colwyn Bay, Hednesford were quickly into their stride as they forced themselves onto Workington in the first five minutes; Firstly Sullivan diverted a bouncing ball straight into keeper Danijel Nizic's hands, followed two minutes later by a low curling drive from Jamey Osborne that Nizic did well to palm away from goal

Workington responded on six minutes with a corner kick on the left-hand side; David Lynch's ball in was powerfully headed just wide of goal by long-serving skipper Kyle May as he rose highest to greet the ball

However, the Pitmen continued to create the more clear-cut openings and went agonisingly close to opening the scoring on eleven minutes. Sullivan seized upon a loose pass out of defence by the Reds and fired in a low shot that came crashing off the base of the right-hand post

The Pitmen's pressure finally told on twenty minutes, as their waves of attack finally produced the goods. Glover flicked on a Thorley through ball into the path of Osborne, who raced clear of the Workington defence before clipping the ball over the body of the onrushing Nizic and into the empty net from eight yards out

Sullivan was causing Workington all sorts of issues with his neat link-up play and quick feet and should have added to the home side's tally three minutes later. Another superb pass through the channels caught the Workington defence square, allowing Sullivan to race clear on goal. However, rather than instinctively shoot first time, he dithered on the ball and allowed Nizic to make a block at his feet

A swift break down the Hednesford right-hand side saw Charlie Anagho-Ntamark escape the attentions of Sam Smith but elected to take the ball on rather than pass to three team mates who were in better positions in the penalty area. This allowed Ben Hoskin to get across and tackle the teenager before he could get a shot in on goal

A succession of corner kicks from both sides of the pitch failed to deliver a meaningful ball in for the hosts in the next five minutes, with Darren Campion and Tom Thorley both wasteful with their balls into the box

A misguided header back to Nizic by May on thirty-nine minutes had the tall Workington keeper scampering across his goal as the bouncing ball threatened to drift into his own net, but eventually dropped wide of the right-hand post and earned the Pitmen a corner kick

From the resultant Thorley corner, Ben Bailey rose highest to meet the ball at the far post but got his head under the cross and headed well over the crossbar

A bright start to the second half from the Pitmen saw them earn two successive free-kicks in a minute, with Osborne and Thorley again guilty of wasting opportunities from advanced positions with weak, off-target balls

There was a feeling around Keys Park that the Pitmen would require a second goal to see off the challenge of a spirited, but limited, Workington team. There was still a chance that the visitors could catch Hednesford on the counter-attack through Joe Jackson, or produce a goal from the Pitmen's most vulnerable position - set-pieces

Indeed, Workington enjoyed their best spell of the game coming up to the hour mark of the game, playing some neat football in and around the penalty area without really testing the Hednesford back line

The visitors best chance of the game came on sixty minutes, as a mistake from Bailey gifted the ball to Jackson. He broke clear of the attentions of Paul McCone but placed a weak shot straight at Dan Crane from the edge of the area

There was a bit of belief in Workington's play all of a sudden, and Bailey had to be on his guard a minute later to head away for a corner kick as Lynch's deep cross almost found the head of Jackson before Bailey's late intervention

Looking to inject more urgency to his side, Smith made the first of his substitutions on sixty-seven minutes, with Wayne Riley coming on for Sullivan in a like-for-like swap

Thorley was once again putting in a busy, industrious shift for the Pitmen, covering acres of ground and playing neat, intelligent balls to white shirts. One side of his game that is not noted however is his goal return, with the midfielder curling a rising effort just over the crossbar on seventy-four minutes after picking up a loose ball twenty yards from goal

With fifteen minutes left, Michael Lennon was brought on in place of Ntamark to add guile and experience to the side up front with Glover and Riley

Lennon was straight into the swing of things too, picking the ball up and firing a low shot in on goal on seventy-nine minutes that Nizic turned around his post for a corner kick

Just when it looked as though one goal may well be enough to see the Pitmen home, a goal-fest broke out as the home side went goal mad in the final few minutes of the game as Workington tired. On eighty-six minutes, a Thorley free-kick was partially cleared by a combination of Nizic and a Workington defender, with the ball dropping to Osborne on the edge of the penalty area. Rather than simply blast the ball through a crowd of onrushing players, Osborne took a second to steady himself before lifting a delightful ball over the head of Nizic and his defenders, finding the roof of the net in the process to double his, and Hednesford's advantage

Marvin Robinson was introduced to the action a minute later, coming on in place of Glover. And what a substitution it turned out to be, as the man for the big occasion delivered once more with a magnificent cameo

On eighty-eight minutes, Lennon received the ball from Campion out on the left-wing. His pin-point cross found Robinson lurking at the far post, with the big man stooping to nod the ball home from close range with his first touch of the ball

The Pitmen were rampant, taking Workington apart at all angles now as the game moved into added time. Another flowing move saw Riley, Thorley and Robinson all have shots blocked or saved before the ball ran kindly once more to Robinson, who sidefooted the ball home from twelve yards out. After initially disallowing the goal due to an offside flag, the referee decided to award the goal to the Pitmen after consultation with his assistant on the main stand side

So, another win to follow up last week's impressive showing in Wales, with the Pitmen the top scorers in the Skrill North once more with seventy-three goals. They remain in third place, although a number of sides below them play games in hand during midweek as they try to overhaul the long time league leaders in the race for the play-offs. The biggest away day of the season beckons next weekend, as Hednesford make the trip up the M6 to visit fallen giants Stockport County at Edgeley Park

Hednesford Town: Crane, Disney, Campion ©, McCone, Melbourne, Osborne, Sullivan (Riley 67), Glover (Robinson 86), Anagho-Ntamark (Lennon 75), Thorley       Subs Unused: Thompson-Brown, Francis

 

Workington: Nizic, Hoskin (F. Fernandes 66), Smith, May ▆ ©, Andrews, Hindmarch, Skelton (Smith 82), Lynch, Jackson, Wright  (Allison 66), McKenna       Subs Unused: B. Fernandes, Jamieson

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