Hednesford Town make the long journey North East to the seaside town of Whitby on Saturday, on a run of four straight wins and two consecutive clean sheets, as The Pitmen stalk league leaders North Ferriby with new found intent.
Rob Smith’s team lie three points behind the Humberside pace-setters with two games in hand and could move into second place with a victory against a Whitby Town team who, despite a poor start to the season, have won seven of their last ten matches.
The Pitmen boss spoke highly of his Whitby counterpart but also stated how his in-form squad have given him a real selection headache in the build up to the game.
‘I am pleased for Darren Williams that he has turned things around up there as he is a nice guy and will prove to be a very good manager. Our solid recent form is the best headache to have and it gives me the chance to pick different starting line ups to keep the players fresh.’
Aaron Rey and Neil Harvey are partly the cause of Smith’s dilemma after both turning in swashbuckling performances against their former side, Marine, on Tuesday but despite a run of four straight victories the manager believes his team still has more to offer.
‘To be fair I expected both players to put in a performance because they were really up for the game. Now they need to produce that type of performance on a consistent basis. It’s still too early to say what we can achieve because the season is still in its infancy but I believe the team can go up a few gears yet.’
The Pitmen have a clean bill of health for their trip to the seaside after Dave MacPherson served his one match suspension in midweek and it is a sign of the competition in the squad that Alex Melbourne will feel deserving of keeping his starting berth after a solid performance against Marine in the centre of midfield.
In another boost for Hednesford, Nathan Mulligan, Whitby’s top scorer with fifteen goals this season, will sit out the game due to a one match suspension.
Previous meetings between the clubs have been relatively even with Hednesford winning four and Whitby three but their last game at the Turnbull Ground in March 2012 saw Jamey Osborne, deputising at right back, score from distance after a marauding run in a 2-0 victory.
After two dominant displays against well-fancied Marine on Tuesday and Trafford in the FA Trophy last Saturday the band of Pitmen supporters making the trip to the North Yorkshire coast will no doubt be hoping Rob Smith’s charges continue to show winning form as their tilt for promotion begins to gather momentum.
Pitmen Form – LDWWWW
Previous Result – Hednesford Town 2 Marine 0 – Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division – Tuesday 30th October
Next Fixture – Romulus (A) – FA Trophy – Sunday 11th November
League Position – 4th
Whitby Town Form – LWLWWW
Previous Result – Kendal Town 2 Whitby Town 4 – Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division – Tuesday 30th October
Next Fixture – Guiseley (A) – FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round – Saturday 10th November
League Position – 15th
KO – 3pm
Address of Ground – Turnbull Ground, Upgang Lane, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO21 3HZ