Hednesford Town secured a hugely significant three points with a deserved win against a brave Whitby Town side to keep apace with their fellow play-off contenders in the upper echeleons of the Evo Stik Northern Premier.
With Bradford Park Avenue, Northwich Victoria and Marine all recording victories elsewhere The Pitmen’s first league win since January 21st couldn’t have come soon enough.
Rob Smith’s side dominated proceedings in the opening half and felt disappointed going into the break at 0-0.
A strong tackle by Jay Denny set up Chris Clements to jink past two defenders and curl a shot inches past the far post on thirteen minutes and Nick Wellecomme battled past Mark Robinson but saw his shot well saved by Nick Liversedge eleven minutes later as The Pitmen turned the screw.
Wellecomme was again involved on the half hour mark as his knock down teed up Ben jevons who snatched at his shot and saw it fizz wide of the post.
Sixty seconds later a superb cross by Durrell was met in space by Gary Hay but Liversedge stretched brilliantly to deny Hednesford again.
Whitby, buoyed by the fact they had avoided a thrashing in the first half, came out a changed team in the second half and dominated for long periods.
A lack of communication between Darren Campion and Dan Crane presented Jamie Clarke with a great opportunity to give the home side the lead on sixty-six minutes but his shot rolled agonisingly wide of the upright.
Whitby were in the ascendency and a swift turn and shot by Clarke again missed the far post by inches a minute later.
The Pitmen, no doubt a little short of confidence after their sticky run of form since winning away to Chester six weeks ago, encouragingly rode the storm of Whitby pressure and a touch of class from Jamey Osborne crucially opened the scoring with fourteen minutes to go.
The right winger, filling in for the injured Kyle Haynes at right back, picked the ball up on the flank, ghosted in field beyond three challenges and stroked a left footed shot past Liversedge.
Whitby pushed for an equaliser but with Hednesford already set up 4-3-3 before Osborne’s goal they always looked dangerous on the counter attack and their second goal duly came when
Wellecomme’s initial shot was saved by Liversedge but the striker picked up the rebound and squared for Mark Beesley to finish into the roof of the net to register his first goal for The Pitmen after seven games.
Following their victory Rob Smith’s side now sit level on sixty-one points with Northwich and Chorley, two points clear of Bradford and three clear of Marine in yet another very tight play-off race. The Pitmen welcome Northwich to Keys Park on Saturday 10th March 3pm kick off, in what is the biggest game of their season so far.
Liversedge, Hassan (Lyth 81), Robinson (c), Burgess, White, McTiernan, Portas, Beadle, Clarke, Appleby (Smith 73), Mulligan
Subs Not Used
Williams, Leeson, Campbell
Crane, Osborne (76), Campion ©, Dunkley, Johnson, Denny, Durrell (Langdell 73), Clements, Wellecomme, Hay (Beesley 45 (85)), Jevons (Blakeman 86)
Subs Not Used
Bookings – Hassan
Attendance – 293
Entertainment Rating – 3 Stars
Star Man – Jamie Osborne