Hednesford Town, unbeaten in the opening six league games of the season, travel to Chorley tomorrow with their supporters looking to avenge last season’s heavy 5-1 defeat against the Lancashire team, a Club who have won four of the first six at the start to their season.
Last Saturday’s comfortable win against Redditch United in the FA Cup continued a very positive start to The Pitmen’s campaign but Saturday’s game is equally important, coming as it is against a side many have tipped for promotion after falling at the play-off stage last season.
Manger Rob Smith played down the importance of the game in terms of promotion due to the early stage of the season but stressed his side will simply concentrate on amassing as many points as possible as quickly as they can.
‘This game is just a nice fixture to get out of the way early on. All games are important and I certainly expect Chorley to be right in the mix come the end of the season. More than worrying about who we play, we just want to concentrate on getting as many points as we can.’
Team news wise The Pitmen have doubts over Sean O Connor (back), Aaron Rey (hamstring) and will be missing Jamie Osborne, suspended after his sending off against Stafford Rangers in August.
The last meeting between the two sides came during a dramatic run-in last season where The Pitmen travelled to Lancashire looking to cement a play-off place but were shocked by a superb first half performance from the home team which saw them score within seventy seconds of the first whistle and go in 4-0 up at half time before eventually running out comfortable 5-1 winners.
Smith is aware of the previous game, the biggest defeat of his three year tenure, and will use the memory in his pre-match team talk, ‘It is still certainly very fresh in my memory and it will be mentioned before the game. As bad as we were that day I thought they were a very strong side and have many of that team still together, along with some quality additions.
They have Louis Barnes (brother of Pitmen defender Sam Barnes) on loan from Southport who is an excellent left back, and Darrel Stephenson, a very good striker from Southport on loan again. Along with Ciaran Kilheeney we really have our work cut out, we are going to have be at our very best to get anything on Saturday.’
The Pitmen will no doubt pose much more of a threat this time round as their dangerous attacking unit, ably assisted by the creative talents of Elliott Durrell and Nathan Woolfe, will look to continue its positive start. A point will be seen as an acceptable result but three points for Rob Smith’s men could send an early statement of intent in the race for promotion.
Pitmen Form – WWDDWW
Previous Result – Redditch United 0 Hednesford Town 3 – FA Cup First Round Qualifying
Next Fixture – Worksop Town (H) Tuesday 18th September 7.45pm KO
League Position – 5th
Chorley Form – LWLWWW
Previous Result – Chorley 2 Nantwich Town 0 – FA Cup First Round Qualifying
Next Fixture – Blyth Spartans (A) – Tuesday 18th September
League Position – 6th
KO – 3pm
Address of Ground – The Chorley Group Victory Park Stadium, Duke Street, Chorley, Lancashire, PR7 3DU