Match Preview: Whitby Town (H)

The Pitmen welcome Whitby Town to Keys Park in their penultimate home game of the season with the opportunity, for the first time since Boxing Day, of catching long time leaders North Ferriby should they win and The Villagers drop points.

A victory for Rob Smith’s team will put the ball firmly back in North Ferriby’s court with the leaders of the league, a position they have been in since mid-October, hosting Nantwich Town in their game on Saturday and the manager believes the pressure is now on.

‘Since they beat us in March we have been very relaxed and are just enjoying the chase. If they slip up hopefully we can be there to capitalise but we are not feeling any pressure as anything above the playoffs is a bonus. However Ferriby have been top all year so they will be feeling it.’

The pressure now on Hednesford’s rivals is not the only positive ahead of the game as, apart from Alex Melbourne, Rob Smith has a full strength squad to choose from including the influential left winger Nathan Woolfe.

The ex-Bolton Wanderers player has been struggling in recent weeks with a hamstring injury but Smith is now happy that he is fully recovered and ready to do play his part in the title race.

‘We have purposely not forced ‘Woolfey’ back too early only to break down again. He should be fully fit now and available for selection. It was a hamstring injury and you have to make sure those heal 100%.’

The situation regarding Kris Taylor, a player who has impressed during his loan spell from Telford, is a little more unsure as negotiations take place regarding The Bucks recalling him early due to injuries in their relegated squad. Any further news will be posted on this website as and when we get it.

The consistency shown by The Pitmen throughout the season has seen them ensconced in second place since well before the turn of the year and, with the final five league matches in view, the outcome of these pressurised and tense fixtures will undoubtedly decide the destination of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division title.

The Keys Park faithful know that should Hednesford secure maximum points, one defeat or two draws from their rivals, will open the door to pure joy at winning the title for the first time since the legendary team, led by John Baldwin, Joe O’Connor et al, secured the Beazer Homes Premier Division in 1995.

Pitmen Form – WWDWDW
Previous Result – Hednesford Town 3 Blyth Spartans 0 – Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division – Tuesday 9th April 2013
Next Fixture – Buxton (A) – Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division – Wednesday 17th April 2013
League Position – 2nd

Whitby Town Form – DLDWWL
Previous Result – Nantwich Town 2 Whitby Town 1 – Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division – Tuesday 9th April 2013
Next Fixture – Stafford Rangers (H) – Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division – Wednesday 17th April 2013
League Position – 13th

KO – 3pm
Address of Ground – Keys Park, Keys Park Road, Hednesford, WS12 2DZ

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