Hednesford Town boss Rob Smith has spoken of his excitement as his team sit proudly at the summit of the Skrill North ahead of an away fixture against Vauxhall Motors this Saturday and then their biggest home match of the season when local rivals AFC Telford United travel to Keys Park on Boxing Day.
The manager, speaking after his side’s 2-0 victory against Bradford Park Avenue on Tuesday night, a result which leaves The Pitmen two points clear of North Ferriby United and Brackley Town and four clear of their Shropshire neighbours, highlighted his enjoyment of games during the festive period and called upon the Hednesford faithful to create a big game atmosphere at Keys Park when The Bucks come to town.
‘I personally love lots of games at this time of year. I’m all for a busy Christmas period, it’s part of our football culture and every game has a special feel to it.
‘Keys Park with a capacity crowd is tremendous and we have often produced good performances when there has been a big gate. It just gives you a buzz driving into the ground and if the supporters can reproduce the type of atmosphere they created at the Bucks Head it will spur us on.
‘It was clear for all to see that the players reacted to the vocal support at their place, so it would be fantastic to have more of the same on Boxing Day.’
The Pitmen came out 3-1 winners in the most recent meeting between the two sides, which was at the New Bucks Head back in September, when two goals from Elliott Durrell and another from Aaron Rey cancelled out a first half opener from Telford to dump the home side out of the FA Cup, but Smith is aware that Telford were always likely to be challenging for promotion.
‘I always expected Telford to be up there in the play-off places and, if anything, the surprise is that we are along with them at the moment. This match ranks alongside our other massive home games in recent seasons and we’re all looking forward to it.’
Kick off on Boxing Day at Keys Park is 3pm as usual but with a crowd in the thousands expected, supporters are strongly advised to get to the ground early. The bar facilities will be open from 1pm with admission and turnstile advice to be published on www.hednesfordtownfc.com in the coming days.