Hednesford Town welcome Stalybridge Celtic to Keys Park as they continue their run of three straight home matches, looking to recover from Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat to Harrogate Town.
Mathematically at least, The Pitmen can still head into their festive fixtures top of the Skrill North but realistically a positive result, after three defeats on the spin, is all important.
Rob Smith’s team, who started the season like a train, have hit the buffers of late but the manager is not unduly worried and believes their blip is simply down to the fact that the league is of a very high standard and has stressed that expectations need to stay in check.
‘I thought the commitment level on Tuesday was excellent but we are being punished for our mistakes at the moment which will happen in this league. Our belief is still very high, it is everyone else’s ridiculous expectations that need to cool. We are over-achieving in a league full of well-established big budget teams, yet some people expect us to win every game. I said at the beginning of the season this is a very very unforgiving league and, to me, losing to Harrogate does not mean we are a bad team.’
Hednesford won convincingly against their opponents to get their campaign off to a flyer but Smith was again keen to stress that The Celts are a decent side who will undoubtedly be looking to avenge that defeat.
‘Stalybridge will be a very different proposition, they have a very good player-manager and have some excellent recent wins under their belt. They will look at this game as a massive opportunity to reverse that result.’
Injuries to Neil Harvey and Michael Lennon make the two strikers big doubts but right-back John Disney should return from illness to stake his claim for a starting spot.
The Pitmen faithful, so lucky to have experienced some superb highs under Rob Smith, must now keep their patience with the squad and manager ahead of a mouth-watering festive programme of fixtures, starting tomorrow.
Hednesford Town Form – LLLWLL
Previous Result – Hednesford Town 1 Harrogate Town 3 – The Skrill North – Tuesday 10th December 2013
Next Fixture – Bradford Park Avenue (H) – The Skrill North – Tuesday 17th December 2013
League Position – 5th
Stalybridge Celtic Form – LDWLLW
Previous Result – Histon 1-4 Stalybridge Celtic – The Skrill North – Saturday 7th December 2013
Next Fixture – Boston United (H) – The Skrill North – Saturday 21st December 2013
League Position – 11th
KO – 3pm
Address of Ground – Keys Park, Keys Park Road, Hednesford, Staffordshire, WS12 2DZ
Adult Main Stand: £12
Adult Terrace: £11
Concessions Main Stand: £7
Concessions Terrace: £6
Adult/1 Child* Terrace Ticket: £12
Adult/2 Children* Terrace Ticket: £13
Family** Terrace Ticket: £22
* Child under 16
** 2 Adults & 2 Children (under 16)