Sensational Pitmen Front Up To Chorley Threat
Hednesford Town sent a strong message to the other promotion hopefuls at the top of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division with a superb performance against a Chorley side who put the home side under real pressure both physically and in an attacking sense.
Man of the match Gary Hay bagged a goal in each half as The Pitmen continued their long unbeaten home run but manager Rob Smith, was under no illusions as to how big a test his team faced.
‘Make no mistake, Chorley are a tough side to play against and it really is a massive win for us today. Gary Hay was superb and took his second goal very well, we matched them physically and our quality shone through.’
In a strongly contested opening period Hednesford enjoyed more of the attacking pressure and defended well with Cheyenne Dunkley and Pedro Monteiro imperious at the back in the face of the distinct threat of Matt Walwyn’s pace.
In an even first half it was Chorley who cracked first, an innocuous clearance forward caused confusion in their defence as Wayne Maden headed the ball past his own keeper to present Gary Hay with the easiest chance he will ever have on thirty-seven minutes to open the scoring for The Pitmen.
With literally the final kick of the first half Dan Crane made a brave diving save to get in the way of Walwyn’s shot as the striker ran clear of the defence and ensured his side went into the interval a goal up.
Substitute Mark Danks had been introduced in the place of Nick Wellecomme in a tactical reshuffle by Rob Smith and the change worked as, with Chorley dominating in the first twenty minutes of the second half, the diminutive striker skipped past a challenge on the right wing and hung up a perfect cross for Gary Hay to flex his neck muscles and head brilliantly into the top corner on sixty-five minutes.
Steve Foster had two opportunities to reduce the arrears for the away side but lobbed wide and, when he did hit the target, Crane was on hand again to block and preserve the two goal lead which The Pitmen thoroughly deserved.
Hednesford have now leapfrogged Chorley in the table and sit third in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division, five points behind Chester, seven behind leaders Northwich Victoria with three games in hand. Their unbeaten league run at Keys Park faces another tough test on Tuesday night as The Pitmen welcome local rivals Rushall Olympic with supporters keen to see their team avenge the bad tempered loss to The Pics in September.
Crane, Haynes, Shaw, Monteiro, Dunkley, Denny, Osborne (Jevons 59), Clements, Wellecomme (Danks 41), Hay (37,64) (Durrell 77), Campion ©,
Subs Not Used
Booking – Denny
Saunders, Ross (Walker 73), Brown, Teague ©, Maden, Vermiglio, Roscoe, Flitcroft, Walwyn (Williams 45), Foster (Bowen 73), Ince,
Subs Not Used
Bookings – Foster, Brown, Vermiglio
Star Man – Gary Hay
Entertainment Rating – 5 Stars
HT Score 1-0
Attendance – 577