Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division side Hednesford Town pushed their local rivals and Conference outfit Tamworth close in a hard fought friendly game at Keys Park with a second half rally which put real pressure on the away side.
Pitmen Assistant Manager, Chris Brindley, declared himself happy with his side’s second half performance and praised the character of his team after going into the break two goals down.
‘There’s no getting away that Tamworth really showed their quality in the first half but I’ve got to give credit to my team in the second half. We could have folded but we showed that we can fight and caused Tamworth problems.’
Tamworth manager, Marcus Law, had a similar view on the game, happy with his teams’ performance in the opening forty-five minutes but frustrated at the way his team allowed The Pitmen control in the second.
‘We applied ourselves very well in the first half and played in the right way but we got sloppy. Unfortunately we stayed in the dressing room in the second half, it’s a lesson that if you step off the gas it’s hard to get back on track after that.’
Tamworth scored an early goal on ten minutes with a delightful free kick, curled around the defensive wall by Martin Kelly and, as Hednesford failed to close down their opponents in midfield, the away side scored a second on forty-four minutes when a superbly flighted ball through by Lee Hendrie found Kelly to shoot past the advancing Dan Crane.
The home side came out with far more purpose in the second period and Tamworth, a team who are established at Conference level, struggled.
The Pitmen hit back on fifty-two minutes and scored from a flowing move after Elliott Durrell looped a cross in from the right, Sean O’Connor climbed well at the back post and knocked the ball down for Neil Harvey to force Tony Breeden into a superb block before lashing in the rebound.
The pace and edge of the game picked up considerably after Hednesford’s goal and the home side continued to press for an equaliser.
Nathan Woolfe was again very impressive for The Pitmen and his teasing cross, after tricky work on the left, set up Harvey but he failed to connect strongly enough with his header and the ball bobbled wide of the post.
Durrell tested Breeden with a fizzing shot from distance with ten minutes to go but Tamworth stood firm and held on for a victory which, due mostly to the improved second half performance by the home side, was a lot more difficult than expected.
The Pitmen’s warm-up campaign continues apace this weerk as they first welcome Sutton Coldfield Town to Keys Park on Tuesday, KO 7.30pm before facing Vauxhall Motors at home this Saturday, KO 3pm.
Crane, Disney, Campion, Osborne, Francis, Barnes, Durrell, MacPherson ©, Harvey (51), O’Connor, Woolfe,
Rey, Bailey, Clarke, Melbourne, Dunleavy,
Breeden, Tait ©, Patterson, Flanagan, Osi, Marshall, Cunnington, Wright, Law, Till, Kerry, Kelly (10,44), Wren, Gudger, Hendrie,
Entertainment Rating – 3 Stars
Star Man – Marcus Kelly
HT Score – 0-2