Match Preview: Stalybridge Celtic (H)

Smith Notes Osborne Highlights as Pitmen Season at Keys Park Comes to an End …

At times, football is all about trying to look for the positives and putting things into perspective so, following Hednesford Town’s hugely disappointing drop in form which has seen The Pitmen fall from third place down to eighth and realistically out of the play-off picture in recent weeks, manager Rob Smith, speaking ahead of Saturday, was keen to look on the bright side after a long season.

Hednesford’s final home game of the campaign takes place at Keys Park this weekend with the boss admitting one win in eight matches has left him frustrated, but the man who has led The Pitmen to four straight play-off campaigns believes 2014/15 can still be viewed as a successful season.

‘Given the strength and money in this league, we are still batting above our average but I would be lying if I said we are not all disappointed in not making the play-offs.

‘If we had not been able to ever get amongst the leaders then fair enough but the fact that we broke into the top five and then capitulated leaves a bitter taste. It just proved too much in the end.’

Taking a broader look back at the season Smith pointed to the Valentine’s Day victory away at Guiseley with numerous new signings making their Hednesford bow, the home win against title-chasing Fylde in March as particular high points in the campaign and reserved special praise for Jamey Osborne.

‘The win at Guiseley with new signings making their debuts and with a makeshift team is up there, then I would have to say the win against Fylde, where I thought we looked a very good side, but witnessing Ozzie’s goals from the halfway line so close up (against Lowestoft and Brackley) are a massive highlight.

‘I expect a lot of our players to go and grace a higher level but Jamey is clearly too good for this league.’

Team news wise ahead of the weekend Darren Campion is serving suspension, Jordan Tunnicliffe has returned to his parent club, Kidderminster Harriers, this week, Paul Sullivan is injured and doubts remain around the fitness of Marvin Robinson and Adam Thomas.

While The Pitmen could still technically sneak into the play-offs, albeit relying massively on an implosion by Guiseley, the only team they can mathematically catch, the players, staff and management still deserve the support of our loyal fans as they look to secure as high a points total as possible with a top ten position guaranteed.

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