Hednesford take a break from league action on Saturday to continue their quest for FA Trophy glory, travelling to Manchester to face Evo-Stik First Division North outfit Trafford in the Second Qualifying Round.
The Pitmen have showed outstanding character to win two games in succession after trailing by a goal to their opponents but Trafford, a side who have plenty of attacking threat in their squad, will be a stern test of Hednesford’s credentials.
Pitmen boss, Rob Smith, was keen to praise his players after Tuesday’s latest comeback and singled out Elliott Durrell for praise after the midfielder calmly converted a 93rd minute penalty to beat Witton Albion.
‘The players have all pulled in the same direction since we got together in June. We know we have to improve and as a unit that’s what we keep working on. Elliott is someone you would want in that position, he believes he will score. I was pleased we kept going because I didn’t feel we deserved to lose the game.’
The injury list in recent weeks has eased somewhat, Francino Francis is fit after hobbling off on Tuesday and Sean O’Connor will be looking to continue a run of two goals from two games. The only absentee is Ben Bailey, serving a one-match suspension after receiving two yellow cards against Buxton in the FA Cup.
Trafford have scored fifty-one goals in seventeen matches in all competitions this season and despite failing to register a goal against Burscough in their last fixture, The Pitmen will have to be vigilant of a potent strike force.
There can be no faulting Rob Smith’s side’s superb commitment in all their games and they have regularly hit the back of the net this season but their achilles heel has been a tendency to concede goals on the counter attack.
Their defence have failed to register a clean sheet in twelve games since a 3-0 victory over Redditch in the FA Cup on September 9th however Hednesford have registered more than one goal in fifteen out of nineteen matches.
Pitmen supporters, no doubt keen for a run in the Trophy this season, would surely take a straight forward 1-0 win but form suggests Saturday is likely to be another goal-packed, incident-heavy afternoon.
Pitmen Form – DLLDWW
Previous Result – Hednesford Town 2 Witton Albion 1 – Tuesday 23rd October – Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division
Next Fixture – Marine (H) – Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division – Tuesday 30th October
League Position – 3rd
Trafford Form – LLWWWD
Previous Result – Trafford 0 Burscough 0 – Tuesday 23rd October – Evo-Stik First Division North
Next Fixture – Farsley (A) – Tuesday 30th October – Evo-Stik First Division North
League Position – 7th
KO – 3pm
Address of Ground – Shawe View, Pennybridge Lane, Flixton, Manchester, Lancashire, M41 5DL