Hednesford 1-0 Frickley Athletic
Clements Strikes Again To Send Pitmen On Their Way
Chris Clements followed up his winning goal in the FA Cup last week with another vital contribution for his team as The Pitmen continued their long unbeaten run at Keys Park and kept pace with the top sides at the summit of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division.
Hednesford Town now sit in fourth place after thirteen games, only three points behind current leaders Northwich Victoria, two points behind second placed Chester and are level on points with Chorley with a game in hand.
Frickley Athletic proved a tough test for Rob Smith’s side as they defended in numbers during the first half, intent on preserving an away point, but three points were secured with another solid performance.
The home side had the majority of first half attacking play as their hosts defended deep and credit must go to The Pitmen for creating chances in a congested penalty area. Gary Hay headed against a post from a Darren Campion corner on thirteen minutes but the referee blew for a foul and man of the match Clements struck the cross bar with a superb free kick on twenty minutes as Adam Billard could only stand and watch.
Jay Denny hit a left foot shot that deflected inches wide six minutes later and, from the resulting corner, a mêlée of players at the back post almost saw Cheyenne Dunkley head a second.
The deadlock was broken in first half stoppage time as Clements proved the outstanding slight of foot he possesses as he controlled a loose ball, skipped past two flummoxed Frickley defenders and swept the ball into the far corner to register an early claim for October goal of the month.
The second period was a cagey affair as the home side soaked up pressure from a more offensive Frickley side who at least made a belated attempt to force some offensive pressure.
Pedro Monteiro was a tower of strength at the back for Hednesford and without doubt played his best game in a Hednesford shirt. The defensive performance restricted Frickley’s advances and the closest the Yorkshire side came to an equaliser was when Chris Shaw misjudged a cross and almost diverted the ball into his own net.
Clements and Darren Campion had long range shots blocked by Billard but the away side nearly stole a point when Jack Watts broke down the left with six minutes to go and chipped Dan Crane only to see the ball fall a foot over the bar.
The Pitmen now travel to sixth place Marine on Tuesday night in what will prove a tough test for Rob Smith’s side before locking horns with Corby Town in the FA Cup next Saturday; victory in those two matches would set supporters pulses racing at the thought of a plum Fourth Round Qualifying tie and could also see Hednesford sitting pretty in third place.
Crane, Haynes, Shaw, Monteiro, Dunkley, Denny, Osborne (Clarke 86), Clements (45+1), Wellecomme (Robinson 63), Hay (Durrell 63), Campion ©,
Subs Not Used: Gomes, Quinn
Billard, Bleau, Cyrus, Walsh, Adams ©, Ludlam, Darley (Henry 61), Ashmore, Grayson (Watts 33), Mallon, Whitehouse (Leonard 81),
Subs Not Used: Jones
Bookings – Ludlam
HT Score – 1-0
Entertainment Rating – 3 Stars
Star Man – Chris Clements
Attendance – 552
Words by Chris Brewerton