Hednesford Town will be keen to arrest a rare slide in form which, while not yet terminal and far from unexpected, has put Rob Smith and his squad in a position they have yet to find themselves in since the manager took over in 2010, as Walsall visit Keys Park in the Birmingham Senior Cup Second Round on Tuesday night.
A tricky run of fixtures against League One Crawley Town in the FA Cup, promotion rivals Brackley Town in the league, and Skrill Conference Premier Gateshead in the FA Trophy has seen The Pitmen lose four out of the last five games and record what is the worst run of form in Rob Smith’s tenure, but statistics can tell many stories and, with Hednesford still top of the league, defending champions in the competition and able to remember an astonishing 6-5 victory over The Saddlers two seasons ago, the manager is looking forward to the game.
‘We would obviously like to win and progress but despite the defeats we have played ok. Gateshead were a different class and we did really well to stay in the game.
‘All of the Senior Cup games we play at home seem to be ‘goalfests’ and you wouldn’t rule that out again on Tuesday night.’
The previous meeting between these two sides took place in the same competition a little over two years ago when, with Walsall fielding a very strong team, The Pitmen scored twice in the final minutes of normal time to level the scores at 4-4 and then scored twice in the last five minutes of extra time to win 6-5.
New signing Greg Pearson is cup-tied and Neil Harvey is struggling with a groin injury, so Wayne Riley and Michael Lennon should lead the line against the Banks’s Stadium outfit hoping to stake a claim for the vital game away to rock bottom Gloucester City on Saturday.
Should tonight’s game have anywhere near as much drama as the previous encounter, the Hednesford strikers may have made a deserved case for a starting berth on Saturday although The Pitmen faithful would probably be content with an encouraging team performance as the festive Skrill North programme, which could go a long way to defining their season, begins.
Hednesford Town Form – WLWLLL
Previous Result – Gateshead 4 Hednesford Town 1 – FA Trophy First Round – Saturday 30th November 2013
Next Fixture – Gloucester City (A) – The Skrill North – Saturday 7th December 2013
League Position – 1st
Walsall Form – LWWDDL
Previous Result – Walsall 0 Port Vale 2 – Sky Bet League One – Saturday 30th November 2013
Next Fixture – Leyton Orient (A) – FA Cup Second Round – Saturday 7th December 2013
League Position – 10th
KO – 7.45pm
Address of Ground – Keys Park, Keys Park Road, Hednesford, Staffs, WS12 2DZ
Admission Prices – £6 Adults, £4 Concessions