Match Preview: Gainsborough Trinity (H)
Hednesford Town start their final ten game run-in as the fight for promotion from the Skrill North enters its no doubt dramatic conclusion.
Following last Saturday’s disappointing 4-0 defeat away to fifth placed Boston United, The Pitmen sit third in the table, three points inside the play-off places but with no less than five teams within touching distance below them.
Manager Rob Smith, who presided over another superb Birmingham Senior Cup victory against Birmingham City on Tuesday night, is under no illusions as to how important tomorrow’s game against Gainsborough Trinity is for his team.
‘It was massive that we bounced back against Blues in the week, Boston was simply awful, we surrendered and I can’t have that. I demanded a reaction and got it, but we need it again on Saturday as it is another enormous fixture.
‘We need to win five more games, I know that, the players know that, but we want to try and win more. If we can get six points in our next two fixtures the picture will be a lot healthier.’
Midfielder Jamey Osborne, scorer of a superb free kick in the 4-3 victory in midweek, took a number of heavy challenges in that game and was singled out against Boston for some rough treatment with Smith calling for a little more protection for Hednesford’s shining light.
‘Jamey has been targeted all season. It is up to the referees to deal with it but I feel they need to take action earlier, it is the only way it will stop. The way he plays the game invites fouls on him but he has learnt very quickly how to ride challenges. He is a special talent who we will all be watching on our TV screens one day, but more than that he is very important to me as a person in the team who really wants to win and is totally on my side.’
After taking the Championship outfit to extra time, Smith admits that Osborne will not be the only one who is feeling the effects of what was a very intense game with a number of players struggling with injuries.
‘Obviously there were some tired bodies out there and we have several players struggling but I’m hopeful they will come through. My biggest concerns are Blissett and Francis, so we will just have to see how they are.’
The Pitmen’s final run of fixtures looks relatively favourable, on paper at least, but six points in their next two home matches could be vital as Hednesford look for a fairy tale second promotion in succession and, with Paul Sullivan scoring his first goals for the Club on Tuesday as well as Neil Harvey making a goalscoring return from injury, the Keys Park faithful will be quietly confident that their team will still be in the promotion mix come April.
Hednesford Town Form – DLLWLW
Previous Result – Hednesford Town 4-3 Birmingham City – Birmingham FA Senior Cup – Tuesday 4th March 2014
Next Fixture – Colwyn Bay (A) – The Skrill North – Saturday 15th March 2014
League Position – 3rd
Gainsborough Trinity Form – WLLDWL
Previous Result – Gainsborough Trinity 2-3 Solihull Moors – The Skrill North – Tuesday 4th March 2014
Next Fixture – North Ferriby United (H) – The Skrill North – Tuesday 11th March 2014
League Position – 17th
KO – 3pm
Address of Ground – Keys Park, Keys Park Road, Hednesford, Staffs, WS12 2DZ