Newcastle Town 2-0 Hednesford Town
There will be no glorious evening at Vale Park in April for Hednesford Town this season as the holders of the Staffordshire Senior Cup bowed out at the Quarter Final stage thanks mainly to two soft first half goals and a Newcastle Town team who defended as if their lives depended on it during a second half siege.
The Pitmen, having restored Nathan Woolfe, Aaron Rey and Dave Macpherson to the starting line up, started positively and saw Wayne Riley finish confidently past Joe Mellor on 5 minutes, only for the linesman to raise his flag for offside.
Newcastle opened the scoring eight minutes later when Jordan Cole showed superb desire in crashing through two tackles and then calmly rounding Dan Crane to finish into an open net.
It was 2-0 to the hosts on 24 minutes when a cross was allowed to come in from the left and Thomas Urwin was left unmarked to finish with a brilliant diving header.
Riley continued to look lively for the away side and should have halved the deficit with a stunning volley from distance which crashed against the inside of the post and bounced clear.
The second half saw top-scorer Elliott Durrell introduced alongside Michael Lennon and the change almost had an immediate effect as Paul McCone headed a perfectly judged Durrell cross into the net on 48 minutes, only for the referee to disallow it for a push.
Newcastle were determined as The Pitmen camped in the hosts’ half, unable to break down a solid defence and could have scored themselves on the counter when Cole broke clear but saw his chip brilliantly blocked by Crane.
Kris Taylor hit the bar with a looping cross, Durrell struck a post from a curling corner and, after a great one-two with Macpherson, Riley was denied by Mellor as Newcastle held on and left The Pitmen free to concentrate on the small matter of a promotion tilt at the Conference and FA Trophy and Birmingham Senior Cup glory.
Mellor, Askey, Bridge, Ashman, Carter (c), Miller, France, Skelton, Cole (13), Sanders, Urwin (24)
Subs Not Used
Lowe, Hardiman, Ryder
Crane, Melbourne, Taylor, Bailey, McCone, Macpherson, Thompson-Brown (Durrell 46), Thorley (c), Rey (Lennon 46), Riley, Woolfe (Osborne 66)
Subs Not Used
Entertainment Rating – 3 Stars
Star Man – Wayne Riley
Photos by Colin Rogers