Hednesford Town were able to continue their excellent start to the 2012/13 season with a well deserved 2-1 victory over Blyth Spartans, writes Scott Smith.
Manager Rob Smith once again kept faith with the same team which had picked up six points out of six so far this season as Town took on Blyth for the first time in the club’s history.
Hednesford certainly didn’t make the start they would have liked though as they fell behind in just the third minute. Darren Campion was robbed of possession by Lee Mason and after driving forward his cross into the box was missed by Francino Francis, leaving Phil Airey with a simple finish into the net.
The Pitmen responded excellently though as first Francis headed wide from a freekick before Aaron Rey and Elliott Durrell were both denied in the space of a few seconds as Hednesford pressed hard for an equaliser.
Further chances continued to come for Town with both Durrell and Dave Macpherson coming close to levelling the scores. While at the other end a miss-hit shot found Robbie Dale who couldn’t quite poke home for Blyth from inside the six-yard box.
Hednesford continued to press forward as the second half started and but for a bit more luck they would have been level after 47 minutes. Neil Harvey managed to work the ball out on the left-hand side and his low driven cross was flicked goalwards by Rey but his effort was blocked by Blyth goalkeeper Conor Grant.
A minute later and the post came to Blyth’s rescue as Nathan Woolfe glided down the wing and picked out Jamey Osborne inside the penalty area, only for the midfielder to see his driven effort strike the upright.
Town finally made their pressure pay as they drew level in the 54th minute. Blyth were unable to clear their lines after a corner and with Durrell miss-hitting a shot into the ground the ball found its way to Harvey who superbly opened up his body and slotted home from six-yards out.
Hednesford continued to press and in the 66th minute they went ahead. Great work by Harvey once again saw him break clear down the right-hand side and his ball in was picked up by Macpherson who shifted it onto his right-foot before curling a delightful low effort into the corner of the net.
Three minutes later and Town were indebted to goalkeeper Dan Crane as he raced quickly from his line to snuff out any opportunity of a quick equaliser for the home side.
As the game entered the final ten minutes Hednesford pressed forward in search of a third goal, with Rey, Durrell and Michael Lennon all coming close to increasing the scoreline. In the end though two would be enough for Town as after six minute of stoppage time they were able to pick up their third victory of the week and make it nine points from a possible nine.
This result set Hednesford up nicely for the visit of big local rivals Stafford Rangers on bank holiday Monday, 27th August, for the 3pm kick-off at Keys Park.
Grant, Utterson, Kendrick, Hodgson (Blandford 69), Buchanan, Mellish, Mason, Vipond, Farrell, Airey (Davis 66), Dale
Subs not used: Jones, King, Hunter
Crane, Disney, Campion, Barnes (Bailey 70), Francis, Macpherson, Osborne (Melbourne 83), Durrell, Harvey (Lennon 71), Rey, Woolfe
Subs not used: O’Connor, Dunleavy
Man of the Match: Dave Macpherson