An outstanding second half performance by Hednesford Town steamrollered Mickleover Sports as the Keys Park outfit bagged five goals to add to Darren Campion’s first half opener to take Rob Smith’s side level on points with Chester and Northwich at the top of the table.
A workmanlike first half performance against a plucky and aggressive Mickelover saw The Pitmen toil and push for an opener until Campion’s left wing cross evaded everyone and found the corner of the net.
The away side had had a goal chalked off for offside early on but failed to test stand in goal keeper Tony Breeden and the team from Derbyshire could not cope with a Hednesford team playing superbly after the interval with Elliott Durrell particularly impressive.
Gary Hay’s tireless work rate provided the second goal on fifty-three minutes as his teasing cross was headed brilliantly in off the post by Mark Danks and within two minutes the game was wrapped up by Hay as his header found its way past Clarke.
Danny Martin saw red for an elbow to compound Mickelover’s misery and Durrell made it four from the spot after a trip on debutant Andre Landell by Tom Kellogg saw the away side reduced to nine men. The Pitmen took full advantage of the difference in numbers and could have scored more than the two they did get with Jamey Osborne firing a left footed shot from distance against the upright.
Danny Quinn made his much anticipated return to action following a loan spell at Coalville Town from the bench and it was his clever pass, scooped over the defender, which set up Jay Denny to stroke the ball past Clarke on eighty-minutes.
The one blot on Hednesford’s copy book came with three minutes to go as lax defending let a clean sheet slip as Kieron O’Connell ghosted in to score a consolation for the visitors.
Quinn dragged a shot wide as a joyous Keys Park willed him to hit the target but Kyle Haynes duly did with the goal of the game, a thirty yard screamer which arrowed into the corner in stoppage time to put the icing on the proverbial cake.
Rob Smith’s side were simply unstoppable and recorded their biggest win of a season which, should they continue to perform with as much verve and intent, will prove to be another successful one as they gallantly chase the top two sides in the league.
The Pitmen face Worksop Town away next Saturday before embarking on a much anticipated Christmas calendar with West Bromwich Albion visiting Keys Park on Tuesday 20th December in the Birmingham Senior Cup before they welcome local rivals Chasetown on the 27th and travel to old foes Stafford Rangers on January 2nd.
Breeden, Haynes (90), Campion © (31), Dunkley, Bailey, Denny (80), Osborne, Clements (Jevons 72), Danks (53) (Quinn 69), Hay (55) (Landell 64), Durrell (75)
Subs Not Used
Clarke, Grocott (Pawley 69), Nwadike, Walshe ©, Kellogg, McAughtrie, Graves, Martin, Smythe (Strzyzewski 66), O’Connell (86), Steadman (Hoyle 76)
Subs Not Used
Bookings – Clarke, Walshe, Kellogg
Sent Off – Kellogg, Martin
HT Score – 1-0
Entertainment Rating – 5 Stars
Star Man – Elliott Durrell
Attendance – 441
Words by Chris Brewerton