Durrell At The Double As Pitmen Go Third ..
A strong first half performance by Hednesford Town, spearheaded once again by the clinical finishing of Elliott Durrell, ensured The Pitmen recorded their fourth straight home win against a Vauxhall Motors side who, whilst playing a pleasing on the eye passing game, never looked likely to upset the confident home team.
The Skrill North’s leading scorer bagged his ninth and tenth goals of an already prolific season to give The Pitmen a great start, although they were given an early scare when Jordan Rugg broke clear within 70 seconds and chipped keeper Dan Crane, only to see the ball clip the bottom of the post and bounce wide.
Durrell made Vauxhall Motors pay for that miss as he hit an unstoppable dipping free kick which fizzed beyond the helpless goalkeeper into the far corner on 14 minutes, after Jamey Osborne had been cynically fouled when through on goal.
Rugg was denied by Crane with a low save, but poor defending cost Vauxhall when Durrell, the shortest man on the pitch, was left unmarked 10 yards out to head easily into the net on 26 minutes, from a Kris Taylor corner.
Lloyd Ellams steamed into an unnecessary and reckless tackle on Pitmen debutant Matt Regan in first half stoppage time and was deservedly given his marching orders. In the ensuing melee, both Ben Bailey and Andy Nicholas were yellow carded for their behaviour.
The Pitmen supporters went into the break certainly happy after the initial 45 minutes, with their side having seemingly recovered from the previous week’s defeat to North Ferriby United.
As is usually the way when the opposing team loses a man to a red card, Vauxhall put in a committed second half display with substitute Matthew Kosylo particularly lively, but Hednesford kept their visitors at arms’ length for the majority of the final 45 minutes.
Aaron Rey had two great opportunities to put the game to bed, but twice Zac Jones was equal to the forward’s attempt at goal, first when he pounced on a loose ball and secondly when a swift break saw Durrell slotting a through ball down the right flank.
The third goal which would have put a gloss on the performance didn’t come, but Rob Smith and his team will be content with three points which move them back into the top three at the summit of The Skrill North ahead of Tuesday’s tricky away fixture at Histon.
There are still spaces available on the supporters coach down to Cambridgeshire on Tuesday evening for a match which sees The Pitmen travel to a Histon side currently in sixth place. The coach departs from Keys Park at a revised time of 3.45pm, please contact Ken Leese on 07935 723290 if you wish to book.
Hednesford Town: Crane, Disney, Campion (c) (Francis 58), Bailey, Regan, Macpherson (Woolfe 53), Osborne, Durrell (14, 26), Harvey (Anagho-Ntamark 75), Rey, Taylor
Subs Not Used: Melbourne, Thompson-Brown
Vauxhall Motors: Jones, Wainwright, Barnes, Hannigan (c), Nicholas, Noone, Noon, Williams, Rugg, Ellams, Fearnehough
Subs Not Used: Davies, Ellison
Bookings: Bailey, Macpherson, Barnes, Nicholas
Sent Off: Ellams
Star Man: Elliott Durrell
Entertainment Rating: 3 Stars
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Photos by Colin Rogers