Hednesford Town travel to the Peak District to continue their quest for the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division title on Wednesday night as they face 8th placed Buxton and, with rivals North Ferriby United facing a tricky trip to Matlock Town tonight, Rob Smith’s team could be playing catch up or, if The Villagers drop points, the game could represent their first opportunity this season to go clear at the top.
The manager, no doubt aware of the pressure on both sides as they chase the league title, insists that his team will continue only to worry about themselves.
‘The fact Ferriby are playing tonight doesn’t change anything in my view. We are just focused on us, not any other results, that’s how we have been for the last six or seven weeks and nothing changes in that regard.’
The Pitmen, guilty of conceding goals at important times in previous weeks, have been superb in defence over the past three matches and three professionally secured clean sheets have impressed Smith no end.
‘I have been impressed all season by the attitude of my team, they work hard in training and take instructions on board but the defence has really pleased me lately. We were leaking too many goals and its good to see us getting back to keeping clean sheets at an important stage of the season.’
That new found solidarity in defence will be tested to the full on Wednesday night as Buxton, still harbouring an outside chance of reaching the play offs, have the fifth best home record in the division and have scored six goals against The Pitmen in the three meetings this season, including knocking Smith’s team out of the FA Cup at Silverlands in October.
Hednesford will travel to Derbyshire with a clean bill of health, barring Alex Melbourne who is continuing his recovery from a gashed ankle, with Nathan Woolfe pushing for a starting berth after his return from hamstring trouble from the bench at the weekend.
Three points are all that matter at this stage of the season but the Hednesford faithful will have all eyes on Matlock this evening before hoping their team can start as positively as they have done in recent games against Blyth and Whitby; early goals in those matches set the Pitmen up for comfortable victories and a similar performance tomorrow night would undoubtedly settle some run-in nerves and possibly take a huge step towards becoming champions.
Pitmen Form – WDWDWW
Previous Result – Hednesford Town 4 Whitby Town 0 – Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division – Saturday 13th April 2013
Next Fixture – Ilkeston (A) – Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division – Saturday 20th April 2013
League Position – 2nd
Buxton Form – WLWDDD
Previous Result – Buxton 1 Ilkeston 1 – Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division – Saturday 13th April 2013
Next Fixture – Rushall Olympic (H) – Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division – Saturday 20th April 2013
League Position – 8th
KO – 7.45pm
Address of Ground – The Silverlands, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6QH