Club History

The Pitmen were formed in 1880 with the amalgamation of two teams, the Red and Whites (who were also known as West Hill) and Hill Top.

Hednesford Town FC may have a long and proud history but it was not until January 1990 that the club’s fortunes turned for the better. The 1989/90 season had been a long hard struggle and, at the beginning of the year, the club were in a deep relegation battle and with gates below 300, relegation from The Beazer Homes Midland Division looked a distinct possibility. In an effort to avoid relegation the club appointed former goalkeeper, John Baldwin, as manager and he gradually began to turn the club around and relegation was avoided.

The following season the team finished third and then gained promotion to the Beazer Homes League Premier Division, after finishing the 91/92 season as runners-up to Solihull Borough. The club, also in the 91/92 season, became the first English football team to play at The Welsh National Stadium losing 1-0 to Cardiff City, in the final of the Welsh Cup.

The 1994/95 season saw the club finished as Beazer Homes League Premier Division champions with the team defeating Leek Town in front of 2776 supporters at The Cross Keys to clinch the title and promotion to the GM Vauxhall Conference.
The Pitmen commenced their first season in The Conference at their new Keys Park home and in the club’s first season in the top flight of non-league football as they finished in third place behind champions Stevenage Borough and Woking.
The 1996/97 season went down as the best in the clubs’ history to date as the Pitmen reached the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time in 72 years, eventually losing in the fourth round at Middlesbrough, in front of 27,500 supporters.
The following season saw the club finish in seventh position and further FA Cup success was enjoyed as, in front of millions of Match of the Day viewers, the Pitmen beat Hull City 2-0 at Boothferry Park but in the second round lost to Darlington.

In the 98/99 season the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the third season running. This time the team beat Barnet 3-1 in the first round but lost by the same scoreline away at Cardiff City in the next round.
League success did not follow the fine cup runs and the 1999/2000 season saw the team drop to 17th position then, after John Baldwin had stepped down during December 2000, the club were relegated for the first time in their history.
The club’s first season back in the Southern League was a big disappointment and only a last day victory away at Newport (IOW) saved a second consecutive relegation.

The team started the 2002/03 season with Ian Painter in charge but, with the Pitmen hovering around the relegation zone Ian was replaced during February 2003 by Barry Powell, who returned to the club after a spell at Stafford Rangers. Barry had previously been assistant manager with Kenny Hibbitt.

Despite the club’s FA Trophy success in May 2004, when Canvey Island were defeated 3-2 at Villa Park, Barry Powell was replaced as manager by Chris Brindley. The club had failed during the 2003/04 season to finish high enough in the league to move into the new Conference set up but promotion came twelve months later, when a place in The Football Conference Northern Division was gained after winning play off games away at Merthyr Tydfil and Chippenham Town.

The 05/06 season saw the Pitmen again reach the first round of the FA Cup but the team were defeated 4-0 away at Histon. The team continued to leak goals and, as a result of a number of poor results, Chris Brindley left the club by mutual consent in early December 2005. Chris’ assistant manager, former Wimbledon star, Steve Anthrobus, was appointed manager but he was unable to save the club from relegation to The Unibond Northern Premier League.
In the seasons that followed the team failed to make an extended challenge for promotion, with the Pitmen dropping from the top following Christmas in both the 2006/07 and 2008/09 seasons though the Birmingham Senior Cup was won in the latter.

In January 2010 the club appointed former player and Northern Ireland international, Bernard McNally as manager and he took the side to a creditable fourth place, despite a frantic end of the season with three games a week being commonplace. However this extraordinary run of games following a frozen Winter fixture list would come back to haunt them in the playoffs with Chippenham Town winning the semi-final 2-0.
After a shock early exit from the 2010/11 FA Cup and a continuation of some poor form at home, Bernard McNally and his assistant Stuart Brock left the club to be replaced by the former AFC Telford United management team, Rob Smith and Larry Chambers in late September 2010.

Rob and Larry led the Pitmen to their most successful season in years; finishing 2nd in the Southern League Premier Division, winning the Southern League Cup and narrowly losing to Salisbury City FC in the Play-off Final and were rewarded with extended contracts for the next two seasons.

2011/12 and 2012/13 overview required here

History-League

The team that won promotion to the Conference in the 1994/95 season

History-Blackpool

All time record scorer Joe O’Connor celebrates the win over Blackpool.

Pitmen in Prose
History-Boro

The squad poses for a photo before taking on Middlesboro in 1996/97.

History-Trophy

That day at Villa Park. The Pitmen lift the FA Trophy after beating Canvey Island

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