23.2.2008

UniBond Northern Premier League

Hednesford Town

R. Dyer (1), (42), W. Dyer (69) (penalty)

Worksop Town

Davies (79)

(2) 3

(0) 1

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

402

Ross Dyer

W L D D D L W L W W

Whitby Town (A) 1.3.08

Could those elusive play-offs be within reach after all? That's the question some Hednesford fans are asking tonight as the Pitmen continued their recent run of good form with a well-earned victory over a bad-tempered Worksop Town side at Keys Park this afternoon

 

There was only one change to the side that had beaten Prescot Cables on the same pitch the previous week, with skipper Tom Marshall making his long-awaited return from injury as he replaced Tom Birch, who returned to parent club Hinckley United in midweek after his loan period expired

Worksop were under the temporary stewardship of assistant manager Jason Maybury for today's game as first-team manager Peter Rinkcavage was missing from the dugout after his wife had given birth to a son in the last couple of days. Maybury made two changes to the Tigers side that had been beaten 2-1 by Leek Town a couple of weeks previously as new signing Stephen Akers replaced the suspended David Cockerill and Curtis Bernard was brought in for top scorer Kevin Sanasy, who was also suspended

It was a bright but breezy February afternoon at Keys Park, with showers also in the air around South Staffordshire. The Pitmen were straight onto the front foot and many in the main stand had not even taken their seats as the hosts swept into the lead with their first attack; Marshall's raking ball forwards found Ross Dyer scampering towards goal and despite Kevin Dawson doing his best to put Dyer off, the youngster fought off his challenge and hit a shot that Tigers keeper Steve Hernandez got a hand to, but could not stop the ball trickling over the line

Midfielder Rob Davies was eager to make amends after last week's early red card against Prescot Cables and fired in a shot at goal from long-range that Hernandez saved well to his left in the fifth minute

Worksop responded with an effort over the bar from Paul Stansfield, played in on goal after good play from Akers and Steve Robinson on seven minutes but lifting his second attempt over the crossbar after Ben Scott had pushed his initial shot back to him

The visitors were putting themselves about a bit and saw two players cautioned inside the first fifteen minutes for poor tackles. They were also forced into a change in the sixteenth minute as Dawson was forced off after suffering a bloody nose in a clash with Ross Dyer a few minutes later that would not stop bleeding - he was replaced by Tom Burridge

Wayne Dyer's long-range effort was blocked by former Hednesford loanee Terry Henshaw on seventeen minutes as the right-back just did enough to divert the midfielder's shot away from Hernandez's right-hand post

 

Rob Davies tried his luck four minutes later with a dipping, swerving free-kick from twenty-five yards out but cleared both the Worksop wall and the crossbar

Good play from Liam McDonald saw the recent signing skip past Henshaw on twenty-eight minutes and cross for Rory May, only for the giant striker to head high over the crossbar as he got underneath the ball from ten yards out

May was involved again, this time on the deck, five minutes later as he took a couple of touches with his back to goal and slipped a pass into the feet of Pedro, only for Hernandez to spot the danger early and smuggle the ball away from the Portuguese player's feet

Worksop's best chance of the game so far fell to their own big man up top Andy White on thirty-four minutes, but he got his angles all wrong after turning past Ross Adams and dragged his shot wide of Scott's near post 

Henshaw was left requiring attention on thirty-six minutes as he came off worst from his own overly-aggressive challenge on Mario Pedro and caught the boot of the winger with his face. After an extensive spell of treatment, he was forced off with a nasty-looking cut across his head that was to eventually require stitches. He did, however, return to the field of play just before half-time bandaged up 

Liam McDonald almost grabbed a second for the Pitmen with half-time fast approaching as he collected a fine Rob Davies cross but only succeeded in firing wide of goal with an angled drive on the corner of the Worksop penalty area

It was left to top scorer Ross Dyer to put the Pitmen two up with three minutes of the half remaining; a Rob Davies corner was headed back across goal by Marshall for Dyer to stoop and head home from close-range with a simple nod home

 White could have given the visitors a lifeline in the fourth of eight minutes of added time at the end of the first half as he got the better of Marshall but drilled his shot across the face of Scott's goal and narrowly wide of the far post. Unfortunately for White, he was the third Worksop player to suffer from a nasty cut above his eye as his clash with Marshall in the build-up had opened up the wound and required swift attention at the break

Half time saw a number of heated exchanges between the Worksop management at the officials, who had felt that referee Mr Mellor had been too harsh on their side and a little too generous to the hosts 

 

Sixty seconds after the restart, Dyer went close to grabbing his hat-trick goal; getting in behind the Worksop defence after being played in by Wayne Dyer but saw Hernandez turn his shot away for a corner kick

Scott produced a breathtaking save to deny Antony Jackson a goal for the Tigers two minutes later as Robinson's free-kick was headed goalwards by the defender, only for Scott to make a superb one-handed stop to palm the ball away and deny Jackson a certain goal

Debutant Akers was lucky not to be red-carded for a comical dive in the area on fifty-one minutes as he came under pressure from Sam Hall, with many Hednesford fans demanding action against such blatant cheating from Mr Mellor

The bandaged-up White flicked a cross from Stansfield just wide of goal on fifty-five minutes as a well-worked Worksop corner kick caught the Pitmen out at their near post

Ross Dyer was almost gifted his hat-trick goal sixty seconds later as a misunderstanding between Hernandez and Stansfield saw Dyer seize upon the loose ball, only for Hernandez to recover well and save with his legs to deny Dyer from close-range

The match official did have to dust down his red card however just before the hour mark. Antony Jackson's poor challenge on Pedro led to a fair amount of pushing a shoving from both sets of players before the referee showed the already-booked Worksop man a second yellow card for the challenge on the winger

The Pitmen looked to made their numerical advantage count quickly and created further chances to see off their aggressive opponents; Pedro's well-struck effort on the run on sixty-two minutes was well held by Hernandez, followed by an even better save four minutes later to deny May at his far post after the striker had headed an Adams cross goalwards

The Pitmen finally wrapped up the points with a well-deserved third goal on sixty-nine minutes. May and Stansfield clashed in the Worksop penalty area and the Tigers skipper brought May down, which saw Mr Mellor immediately point to the spot. Despite everyone in the ground expecting Ross Dyer to step up and claim his hat-trick, including the player himself, namesake Wayne took the ball and sent Hernandez the wrong way to put the Pitmen out of sight

Ross Dyer could have grabbed his well-deserved hat-trick goal on seventy-five minutes but failed to hit the target with a shot wide of the target after being set up by another fine Hall pass

Worksop did get a consolation goal eleven minutes from time, with Curtis Bernard seizing upon a rare error by Ben Brown and played Kevin Davies into space on the edge of the Hednesford penalty area before the left-back curled a fine shot beyond the reach of Scott and reduce arrears

David Brown was given a late run out by the hosts as he came on with nine minutes remaining in place of Pedro; he was not to see the game out however as he himself limped off in the final minute of the game and was replaced by Chad Sheppard

Still the Pitmen pressed, with Marshall going close to marking his return to the side with a fourth goal of the afternoon on eighty-five minutes as he powerful headed a Rob Davies corner over the crossbar and into the fans in the Heath Hayes terrace

Alan Nagington was introduced to the side with only four minutes of the game remaining as replaced the industrious McDonald on the left-hand side of the attack

In the final minute of the game, Davies almost put a gloss finish on a good display from the Pitmen as he struck a fine free-kick over the Worksop wall from nearly thirty yards out but saw his effort dip narrowly over the crossbar

Back-to-back home wins leaves the door slightly ajar for the Pitmen to make a late dart towards the play-off places after spending most of the season as relative also-rans in mid-table. They sit eighth in the table still and nine points off fifth-placed Guiseley, but with a late run of decent form there could still be a chance for Starbuck's side to gatecrash the top five. A long trip up to the North Yorkshire coast is next for the Pitmen on Saturday as they visit Whitby Town's Turnbull Ground to face the relegation-threatened Seasiders

Hednesford Town: Scott, Hall, Adams, R. Davies, Marshall ©, B. Brown, Pedro (D. Brown 81 (Sheppard 89)), W. Dyer, May, R. Dyer, McDonald (Nagington 86)     Subs Unused: None

Worksop Town: Hernandez, Henshaw , K. Davies, Fretwell, Jackson  (59), Dawson (Burridge 16), Stansfield ©, Robinson, White, Bernard, Akers  (Palmer 65)       Sub Unused: Jordan

Images © copyright Pitmenweb