FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round
Hednesford Town were ultimately frustrated by a Matlock Town side who set up defensively and were content with a replay scheduled for Wednesday having played the final twenty minutes with ten men.
The Pitmen struggled to breakdown the Matlock barrier as the away side played one man up front and their other nine players behind the ball.
In a relatively quiet first half Gareth Davies forced Hednesford goalkeeper Dan Crane into an acrobatic save after three minutes with a long range shot and for the majority of the half the game was bogged down in a midfield battle.
Jay Denny was typically terrier-like in the centre of the pitch but Hednesford’s creative players in the form of Elliott Durrell and Chris Clements were unable to pick the ball up in dangerous positions to supply a hard-working forward line of Gary Hay and, hat-trick hero from last Tuesday’s 6-5 victory over Walsall, Marvin Robinson.
Elliott Durrell saw a rasping drive beaten away by Jon Kennedy for the home side in the forty-fourth minutes and Steve Warne wriggled free of Darren Campion to force Crane into a low save in stoppage time.
Hednesford started the second half on the attack with a succession of corners which placed concerted pressure on Matlock but Gary Hay, Pedro Monteiro and Elliott Durrell all failed to find the net with their attempts.
Kris Bowler received a second yellow for simulation on sixty-seven minutes which incensed the Matlock away support but the red card simply served to force the away side to sit even deeper.
The Pitmen were then faced with an impenetrable wall of tangerine for the final twenty minutes as they struggled to make the extra man count.
Substitute Mark Danks was brought into the fray to assist with the siege of the Matlock goal and his tricky wing play and perfectly judged cross presented Robinson with a chance to score the winner but his header looped a foot over the bar with Kennedy standing still.
Nathan Joynes could have sensationally won the game for Matlock, heading over the bar from six yards but as stoppage time approached it was the home side who pushed hard for a winner.
Nick Wellecomme flicked a Danks shot straight at Kennedy, a long distance shot from Denny was straight at the goal keeper before, with the final kick, a Durrell free kick was blocked and the ball fell to Chris Clements who’s left-footed volley shaved the outside of the post.
The replay will take place at Causeway Lane on Wednesday evening with the winner going into the hat for the next round, meanwhile Hednesford return to league action next Saturday when they travel to Buxton.
Crane, Haynes, Campion, Monteiro, Dunkley, Denny, Jevons (Danks 65), Clements, Robinson, Hay (Wellecomme 60), Durrell,
Subs Not Used
Gomes, Shaw, Bailey
Kennedy, Harcourt, Radford, King, Yates, Lukic ©, Bowler, Warne (Bettney 76), Holmes (Joynes 80), Davies, Algar,
Subs Not Used
Nightingale, Witcombe, Buxton
Bowler, Davies, Robinson, Durrell
HT Score – 0-0
Entertainment Rating – 3 stars
Star Man – Jay Denny