Birmingham Senior Cup 2009

Stourbridge 0-2 Hednesford Town

Birmingham Senior Cup Final – Tuesday 22nd April 2009 – Pirelli Stadium, Burton-on-Trent

Dean Edwards made it two Birmingham Senior Cup wins in three years as his Hednesford side convincingly won the cup with a 2-0 victory at The Pirelli Stadium in Burton. A crowd of 518 watched ‘The Pitmen’ salvage a trophy from an otherwise disappointing end to the season. The league is what truly matters but it was no doubt a good night out for the Hednesford faithful and the win was greeted with great joy when the final whistle sounded. In truth, ‘The Pitmen’ were favourites and despite a shaky start to the second half, always looked most likely to win the game. Elliott Durrell nearly opened the scoring in the first minute when he fired a shot just over. Two minutes later Hednesford came close again when a shot-cum-cross from Tyrone Barnett was flicked on by Ross Dyer and Lewis Solly did well to save wrong footed; the keeper spilled the ball but managed to smother Anthony Maguire’s subsequent follow-up. Stourbridge were buoyed by the vocal support of their fans and after six minutes Aaron Drake connected sweetly with a volley after a deep cross but could only fire the ball into the side netting. The Stourbridge fans thought he had scored a fantastic first goal of the game but their joy was short-lived as the ball rippled the wrong side of the net. ‘The Pitmen’ came back at Stourbridge and after Dyer did well to power through the defence three players queued up at the back post to score; the ball fell to Maguire but he could only drag his shot wide. Hednesford continued to press for a goal and Barnett wasted a shooting chance when he received a good cross-field pass from Marshall only to wildly slice the ball high and wide after twenty-two minutes. Lindon Dovey had a shot well blocked by the Hednesford defence after twenty-four minutes and Brock was called upon to tip the deflected drive over the bar. Despite passing the ball well Stourbridge were struggling to create too many chances and it was ‘The Pitmen’ who could have opened the scoring after twenty-eight minutes. A Ludovic Quistin cross found Barnett in space in the area but his header was well saved by Solly. The Unibond Premier Division outfit found their passing game after half an hour and counter attacked with pace; they opened up the Stourbridge defence and Durrell, Dyer and Barnett found themselves three on three. Durrell cut the ball back for the lively Barnett but he was off balance as he shot and it failed to trouble the goalkeeper. Quistin looked dangerous when in advanced positions and his cross on thirty-three minutes was flicked on by Ross Dyer, unfortunately no-one gambled and the ball flew across goal and harmlessly out of play. The last action of a scrappy first half came on thirty-seven minutes when Hednesford were found wanting at the back. ‘The Pitmen’ should have been punished when Leon Broadhurst played Aaron Drake through on goal but the Stourbridge player did not capitalise on the opportunity. As the first half came to a close and those in attendance went off to sample the culinary delights on offer at the Pirelli Stadium both sides felt they were in with a chance of grabbing a winner and lifting the historic cup. Hednesford struggled in the opening fifteen minutes of the first half with the Stourbridge back line lapping up every long aimless ball played forward hopefully towards the front two. The underdogs started the brightest and passed the ball well; only the final ball was lacking. Dyer missed two good opportunities on fifty-six and fifty eight minutes, the first a header from a Sam Hall cross saved well by Solly and secondly a miscued shot when through on goal. Cedric Abraham was playing himself into a clear shout for man of the match when Stourbridge again attacked with purpose on the hour mark. Corner kicks after sixty minutes and then three minutes later were defended with purpose by ‘The Pitmen’ but the team from the West Midlands looked dangerous. Despite being firmly on the back foot for most of the second half it was Danny Harvey who broke the deadlock on sixty-six minutes when a Sam Hall cross was headed powerfully into the net. The breakthrough was a rare goal for the stand-in Captain and following the goal ‘The Pitmen’ looked supremely confident and assured in their passing play. Four minutes later and their advantage was doubled by Elliott Durrell when Dyer headed the ball back to the little striker and his powerful shot looped over Solly after a wicked deflection. The second goal killed the game off as a contest but, to the credit of Stourbridge, their players never gave up the ghost. On seventy-two minutes a dipping shot from distance by Canavan nearly caught out Brock but luckily for Dean Edwards’ men the ball landed on top of the net and over the bar. A cross by former Pitman Les Hines eight minutes later rolled along the eighteen yard line and fell to Drake. His shot zipped wide of the far post and with that Stourbridge’s journey to Birmingham Senior Cup glory came to an end. There was still time for Marshall to fire in a free kick which gave cause for Solly to worry but ended up over the bar and in the terraces behind the goal on eighty-two minutes and for Barnett to stake his claim for miss of the season.
On eighty-five minutes another incisive counter attack found Dyer free down the right wing, he played the ball across to Durrell who in turn unselfishly squared the ball to Barnett; with a gaping goal in front of him the usually clinical striker lent back and ballooned the ball over the bar from three yards. It is certainly a moment he will not want to see again. Barnett could have made amends in stoppage time when a Quistin cross found Dyer in the area. His shot was deflected onto the stanchion and Barnett should have scored from the rebound; instead his follow-up went wide of the post. The final whistle was greeted with loud cheers from the travelling Pitmen supporters and players and fans alike celebrated when Danny Harvey was presented with Hednesfords’ first Birmingham Senior Cup since 1936. A memorable night out for all connected with the club and commiserations must go to those associated with Stourbridge who proved a difficult opposition to face.

Stourbridge (4-4-2): Solly, Rock, Hines (Hadley, 71), Bennett, Canavan, Dyson, Smith, Broadhurst (Guinster), Dovey (Benjamin, 71), Slater, Drake.
Substitutes not used: Bridgewater, Billingham

Hednesford Town (5-3-2): Brock, Abraham, Quistin, Marshall, Harvey, Bailey, Durrell, Maguire, Hall, Barnett, Dyer.
Substitutes not used: Faultless, Nadat, Bandurak, Darby.

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