Hednesford Town moved back up to third place in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League following a dominant second half performance. The 4-0 victory over bottom side Burscough saw Town respond well to last Saturday’s 2-0 home loss to Northwich Victoria ahead of another big game at the weekend.
The Pitmen’s ranks were boosted by a return to the club of left-back Chris Shaw while Michael Ordish and Sam Craven signed on-loan from Southport and Mansfield Town respectively. Both Shaw and Ordish went straight into the starting line-up while Craven started on the bench.
Hednesford almost made the perfect start to the game after just 45 seconds when an Ordish corner was met by Shaw who saw his header hit the crossbar and rebound away to safety.
Town then had two narrow escapes inside the opening 15 minutes as first Will Jones blazed over when well placed inside the penalty area, before an excellent save from Hednesford’s Dan Crane denied Jack Brierley from close range.
The Pitmen almost found a way through after 21 minutes when the ball broke to Elliott Durrell and his low driven cross was turned behind for a corner with Nick Wellecomme closing in. From the resulting corner the ball found Durrell whose low drive skimmed the post on its way behind.
After a lively opening period the game then fell into a bit of a lull and the scoring deadlock wasn’t broken until the 56th minute.
Jamey Osborne played the ball through the back line and as Burscough goalkeeper Craig Ellison came out he totally missed the ball leaving Wellecomme the opportunity to chip towards goal. Just as the ball reached the line it looked as if it would be cleared only for Moses Barnett to turn it into his own net in comical circumstances.
Two minutes later and the Pitmen were 2-0 to the good. A jinking Osborne run on the right-hand side saw him cut inside and pick out Jay Denny who slotted home a sublime left-footed effort into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
On 63 minutes the game was as good as over as Hednesford made it 3-0. Kyle Haynes was able to get down the right-hand side and his cross found Chris Clements at the back post who bundled home.
The home side almost pulled a goal back in the 68th minute when following good link-up play by their two frontmen Brierley curled an effort inches wide of the upright.
With six minutes remaining Burscough had another great chance to grab a consolation goal when the ball found its way to Bevan Burey at the back post but he blazed over when well placed.
As the game entered the second minute of stoppage time the scoring was completed when substitute Andre Landell fed Wellecomme through the Burscough back line and he calmly lifted the ball over Ellison and into the back of the net.
This result sets the Pitmen up nicely for the big visit of FC United of Manchester to Keys Park on Saturday (17th March), 3pm kick off. Supporters are advised to arrive early with a big crowd expected between the two promotion hopefuls.
Burscough: Ellison, Camozzi, Quirk, Barnett, Williams, Tyson, Parry (Burey 70), Clarke (Glover 81), Brierley, Jones (Gornell 76), Wignall
Subs not used: Brookfield, Horn
Hednesford Town: Crane, Haynes, Shaw, Dunkley, Johnson, Denny, Osborne, Clements (Blakeman 63), Wellecomme, Durrell (Craven 76), Ordish (Landell 46)
Subs not used: Jevons, Bailey