Hednesford Town go into tonight’s Birmingham Senior Cup semi final against local rivals Tamworth not only as holders but possibly slight favourites as both clubs look to be going in different directions this season.
The Lambs, currently languishing in 23rd position in the Skrill Conference having lost eight of their last ten league matches, were relegated some weeks ago and have won just eight times this season.
The Pitmen on the other hand, following Saturday’s superb 3-2 victory against Guiseley, stand on the brink of their first tilt at promotion to the Skrill Conference for almost two decades and manager Rob Smith admits that he must balance the importance of this weekend’s game versus Oxford City with the desire to reach a second straight Birmingham Senior Cup final.
‘We want to progress obviously but I have to have Saturday’s game in mind, that really is important to us. However, whatever side I field will be a strong one and of course we will take it seriously.
‘The Guiseley victory was a massive performance from the players and obviously confidence is high at the moment but Tamworth are still a Conference side, despite their struggles this season and they will desperately want to reach the final.’
With the winners of tonight’s game facing a final to be played at a neutral football league ground, the Bescot Stadium was the venue last year, Hednesford’s Independent Travel Club coach sold out last week and, with the game being relatively local, upwards of 100 Pitmen supporters can be expected at The Lamb to support their team.
As Smith said, he will be making decisions on a couple of players regarding their fitness ahead of the Oxford game but, with players such as Kris Taylor, continuing his amazing recovery from testicular cancer, in contention, Michael Lennon, Charlie Anagho-Ntamark and Marvin Robinson will all be looking to stake a claim to lead the line alongside Danny Glover as Hednesford’s league campaign comes to a dramatic conclusion.
Despite the extra game, a third cup final appearance in the space of twelve months for The Pitmen would do no harm to the morale of players and supporters alike.
Hednesford Town Form – WWWDWW
Previous Result – Hednesford Town 3-2 Guiseley – The Skrill North – Saturday 12th April 2014
Next Fixture – Oxford City (A) – The Skrill North – Saturday 19th April 2014
League Position – 3rd
Tamworth Form – LLDLLL
Previous Result – Southport 2-0 Tamworth – The Skrill Premier – Saturday 12th April 2014
Next Fixture – Hereford United (H) – The Skrill Premier – Friday 18th April 2014
League Position – 23rd
KO – 7.45pm
Address of Ground – The Lamb Ground, Kettlebrook, Tamworth, Staffordshire, B77 1AA