Hednesford Town make the trip to Nottinghamshire to face a Worksop Town outfit on Saturday who, despite losing their last two matches in the league, harbour genuine play-off pretensions and inflicted The Pitmen’s heaviest defeat of the season, a 4-0 mauling at Keys Park in September.
A 1-0 loss against Rushall Olympic on Tuesday in the Doodson Cup won’t have worried the Hednesford fans, players or the management team too much, with a number of key performers missing from the starting line up and The Pitmen will be looking to build on last Saturday’s convincing victory against Chorley.
Worksop, the highest scorers in the league and with a strong home record, will prove a tough test of Hednesford’s credentials and Rob Smith is only too aware of The Tigers’ ability.
‘Worksop are the best team we have played all season. Their strike force is as good as anything in this league and would grace teams in the league above.’
Smith however is ready to unleash Hednesford’s own in-form strike partnership into the always atmospheric Sandy Lane as Neil Harvey and Aaron Rey look to continue where they left off against Chorley.
Rey scored a quality strike from distance with Harvey scoring undoubtedly the comedy goal of the season with his mugging of the Chorley goalkeeper and also a bullet header in the second half, so Smith wants to see them produce that performance on a regular basis.
‘Harvey and Rey know each other inside out and have a great understanding which all successful strike forces have. They have done well but they need to produce this form more consistently.’
Team news wise The Pitmen have a doubt around the fitness of Jamey Osborne (calf), the midfielder was not involved in Tuesday’s game versus Rushall, but aside from that a full strength squad will travel to Worksop.
The Tigers had won four games in succession in December, a feat which secured the Manager of the Month award for Simon Clark, but since the turn of the year two defeats against Ilkeston Town and Stafford Rangers have somewhat put the brakes on their promotion charge.
Previous meetings between both sides have certainly been fixtures with a great deal of incident. The Pitmen won 7-2 on Boxing Day in 2008 but last season Worksop won 1-0 in a bad tempered affair with Darren Campion conceding a highly contentious penalty.
The defeat that hurt Hednesford the most was the 4-0 drubbing at Keys Park in September which still stands as the best performance by any side against The Pitmen this season.
Hednesford will be keen to avenge that result but, while a draw wouldn’t be a bad result, North Ferriby’s renaissance following their blip after The Pitmen’s glorious away win in December, means the pressure is on Rob Smith’s side to continue their superb away form with another victory on the road.
Pitmen Form – WLWLWL
Previous Result – Rushall Olympic 1 Hednesford Town 0 – Doodson Cup Third Round – Tuesday 8th January 2013
Next Fixture – Alvechurch (H) – Birmingham Senior Cup – Tuesday 15th January 2013
League Position – 2nd
Worksop Town Form – WWWLLW
Previous Result –Worksop Town 4 Frickley Athletic 1 – Doodson Cup Third Round – Wednesday 9th January 2013
Next Fixture – Rushall (H) – Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division – Wednesday 16th January 2013
League Position – 5th
Travel Club Coach
Departs Keys Park: 10-45am
£16-50 Adults £12-50 Concessions