Hednesford Town welcome a resurgent Boston United to Keys Park on Saturday, looking to claw themselves back into the play off places after being demoted into sixth spot by their visitors’ 5-3 midweek win against Workington.
The Pitmen had occupied a top five place for all of the previous 21 games since starting their season with such gusto away at Stalybridge Celtic but, after last week’s defeat to old foes North Ferriby United, Rob Smith’s team are desperately seeking a victory, having not won since before Christmas.
The Hednesford boss was, however, in a positive mood when discussing Saturday’s game and made it abundantly clear he has the faith in his squad to continue to achieve against teams with considerably more resources.
‘There is still plenty to play for and reasons to be optimistic. We were always going to hit a tough patch and these players are hitting one for probably the first time in two seasons and it is a big test for them. I have confidence they will come through it and learn from this run of games.
‘Boston have proved that a couple of wins can change things quickly and that’s the key. We have had, and continue to have, a very tough set of fixtures but we need to stay around the play offs to continue punching well above our weight and staying above a lot of teams with massive budgets in this league.’
Statistics can say a great deal, but the fact is that Smith’s team face a Boston outfit, strongly consolidated at Skrill North level over many years, who have scored five goals in both of their last two games, despatching Workington and Vauxhall Motors respectively, but solace can be taken from the fact that The Pilgrims didn’t win a game throughout December.
Team news wise, a player who has been sorely missed in recent weeks, Jamey Osborne, continues his injury absence with Smith stating it could be another week before he is back fit. The manager adds that two squad players may be leaving on loan in the next few days. Elsewhere he has a full squad to pick from with Wayne Riley, Dave Macpherson and Ben Bailey among those not given starting berths against North Ferriby United who are pushing for an opportunity.
A small group of away supporters who witnessed Ross Dyer score one of the best Hednesford goals in recent years in an away meeting between the two Clubs in 2008 will always have fond memories of this fixture, but it is The Pilgrims who have won both previous games at Keys Park.
The Pitmen faithful will be hoping that their team can turn the tide on a worrying blip in league form, but what better time for the players, so revered in recent years for all they have achieved, to get back on track than at home to a team one place above them in the table.
Hednesford Town Form – WDDLLL
Previous Result – Hednesford Town 0 North Ferriby United 1 – The Skrill North – Saturday 4th January 2014
Next Fixture – Stockport County (H) – The Skrill North – Tuesday 14th January 2014
League Position – 6th
Boston United Form – LDDLWW
Previous Result – Boston United 5 Workington 3 – The Skrill North – Tuesday 7th January 2014
Next Fixture – Solihull Moors (A) – The Skrill North – Saturday 18th January 2014
League Position – 5th
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)