Rugby Town 1-3 Hednesford Town

Hednesford Town progressed into the Third Qualifying Round of the FA Cup thanks to three first half goals against Rugby Town.

On a wet, slick playing surface the Pitmen started the game well as they put the pressure on their hosts, who ply their trade two leagues below.

Hednesford almost went ahead in the 18th minute when striker Dan Cockerline did really well to bustle his way through the defence before curling in an effort from the edge of the box that hit the post.

Three minutes later Matt Curley got down the right and his cross in was headed over by Archer.

In the 23rd minute the away side would open the scoring though when a deep ball in found Lewis Archer who dribbled across the penalty area before firing in a shot that found the back of the net via the post.

Two minutes later the home side were level though when Hednesford goalkeeper Josef Bursik spilled a cross and Richard Blythe pounced from the edge of the box to score low into the bottom corner.

In a frantic first half the Pitmen went back ahead in the 31st minute when Joe Fitzpatrick won the ball in midfield before feeding Dan Cockerline with the striker able to clinically finish low into the bottom corner.

Hednesford extended their lead to two goals three minutes later as Fitzpatrick again did well to pick out Lewis Archer who swept home a first time effort past Matthew Hill in the Rugby goal.

Charlie Evans curled an effort just wide of the Pitmen goal in the 35th minute before Fitzpatrick and Cockerline both went close inside 60 seconds of each other.

Right on the stroke of halftime Hednesford almost added a fourth but Cockerline saw his low effort saved by Hill.

HT: 1-3

Five minutes into the second half Bursik made a fine save to deny Lewis Rankin as Rugby looked for a way back into the tie.

On the hour mark Rankin should really have done better when he had a free header in front of goal but he planted it wide.

Matt Dodd almost added a fourth for Hednesford but Hill made a fine block in the 69th minute before the visitors’ Jermain Hollis fired wide from the edge of the box seven minutes later.

Although the home side probed, Hednesford were able to deal with the threat they posed as they were reduced to long range efforts.

The final ten minutes saw the Pitmen reduced to ten men as Josh Craddock went off injured and the visitors had used up all three substitutes.

Mike Howard then forced a fine save from Hill in the 85th minute before Dodd then had three chances inside a matter of seconds to make it four but in the end it wouldn’t matter as the Pitmen progressed.

Rugby Town: Hill, Rosser, Thomas, Edwards, Recci, Kavanagh (Blake 46), Evans, Blythe, Rankin, Tulloch, Marsden (Bunting 72
Subs not used: Adams, Steele

Hednesford Town: Bursik, Curley, Fox, Fitzpatrick (Hollis 67), Galinski (Mendez-Jones 52), Griffiths, Dodd, Craddock, Cockerline (Howard 67), Davies, Archer
Subs not used: Grimshaw, Edge, Veiga, King

Attendance: 328

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