Match Preview: Chorley (A)

Smith Pleased With Direction of Squad Ahead of Pitmen Chorley Trip …

Hednesford Town boss Rob Smith is looking towards tomorrow afternoon’s Vanarama Conference North clash with Chorley in positive mood as his Pitmen team look to extend their unbeaten run to four matches.

A 1-0 victory away at Hyde and two home draws against strong teams in the form of Stockport County and Guiseley have given the manager reason for encouragement as his squad continues to improve.

‘The main thing for me is that you can see we are improving. I think our performances are getting stronger as we get fitter and players back. It is pleasing to see as we are going in the right direction.’

There is certainly a more settled air around the team now that the Hednesford injury list has eased. Players who were signed as stopgap measures have moved on, although loanee Tom Peers has impressed enough in recent weeks for Smith to look to extend his stay while Glenn Walker and Steve Diggin continue to recover.

‘The squad is resembling what I envisaged now, Malcolm Melvin and James McQulikin have moved on as we could not financially carry so many players and I’m hoping to extend Tom Peers’ loan next week.

‘Walker has two more weeks in plaster and Diggin will hopefully start training next week. Marvin Robinson and Paul McCone have slight niggles and Chris Westwood will be very doubtful with a groin strain but, compared to recent weeks, the fitness situation is not too bad.’

The Pitmen have had mixed results at Victory Park in the past – Nathan Woolfe showed a rare glimpse of his rich potential with a stunning free kick during a 2-1 victory in September 2012, a result which avenged a 5-1 thrashing the previous season when Chorley took the lead within two minutes and were 4-0 up by half-time.

Discussing the game, Smith said his players enjoyed playing in Lancashire with a good crowd and proper non-league atmosphere guaranteed but with The Magpies currently in fourth place, he knows it is a big game for his team.

‘We know them well from our Evo-Stik days. Chorley are a very big, organised outfit and I’m not surprised they have started so well. There is always a big crowd there so it will be difficult, but we have to go there with confidence.

‘The atmosphere makes for an all round better football experience, but it’s not nice when you are losing! It’s a big match and one the players will not need motivating for.’

As Hednesford embark on the first of three straight away matches that will see them clock up over 650 miles on the road, including trips to Kings Lynn Town in the FA Cup and Boston United in the league the following week, a positive result tomorrow would be another marker of an improving Pitmen outfit.

Hednesford Town Form – DWLDWD
Last Result – Hednesford Town 1 Guiseley 1- Saturday 13th September – Vanarama Conference North
Next Fixture – Kings Lynn Town (A) – Saturday 27th September – FA Cup Second Qualifying Round
Current Position – 13th

Chorley Form – WLWWWL
Last Result – Worcester City 2 Chorley 0 – Saturday 13th September – Vanarama Conference North
Next Fixture – Glossop North End – Saturday 27th September – FA Cup Second Qualifying Round
Current Position – 4th

To join the travelling band of Hednesford supporters up to Chorley or anywhere else for the rest of the season, get in touch with the Independent Travel Club by calling Ken Leese on 07935 723290.

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