Pitmen Push Aside Young Baggies ..
Hednesford Town continued their good Pre-Season campaign with a convincing 2-0 victory over a young West Bromwich Albion XI side. However, nothing should be taken away from The Pitmen with a number of the Albion youngsters on show being on the fringes of the First Team squad, writes Scott Smith.
The home side started strongly and were ahead after just seven minutes when good work by Alex Melbourne down the right-hand-side saw him whip in an excellent cross which looked like it was turned home by Steve Diggin from six yards out, however there was also some speculation that it may well have been an own goal with an Albion defender nearby when the ball found it’s way into the net. Regardless it gave The Pitmen the early advantage.
It was almost 2-0 within a minute of the restart when Diggin saw his effort strike the post after wriggling clear of the Albion backline, whilst in the 19th minute Town thought they had doubled their lead only for that man Diggin to see his headed effort ruled out for offside.
The visitors meanwhile, rarely threatened Dan Crane in the Town goal at the other end, with striker Alex Jones blazing well over the bar from just outside the penalty area being the closest they came to even testing the shot stopper.
Hednesford almost doubled their lead two minutes before half-time when the impressive Jamie Ashmore stole possession of the ball and after he drove forward into the penalty area his well struck effort just cleared the Albion crossbar.
Ten minutes into the second period and the visitors almost drew level, only for Chike Kandi to see his low curling effort go narrowly wide of the upright after he found himself one-on-one with Crane. Albion’s afternoon soon went from bad to worse when striker Danny Barrow was stretched off with suspected ankle ligament damage.
Any chance of the visitors taking anything from the game was snuffed out in the 64th minute as Hednesford made it 2-0. Ashmore once again got down the touchline and his right-wing cross was missed by Diggin but Tom Thorley was on hand at the back post to head home.
Hednesford were now in search of further goals and they almost found one when first Danny Glover’s downward header just cleared the crossbar before Kris Taylor picked up possession, drove forward and saw his 25-yard effort fly just over.
At the other end Samir Nabi almost gave Albion a lifeline with 15 minutes remaining but he pulled his effort wide from just inside the penalty area.
In the midst of a torrential downpour Hednesford almost added a third late on, but Marvin Robinson saw his header strike the crossbar as Town played out time in a comfortable fashion to produce a result which also saw them record their third clean sheet in progression.
The Pitmen now travel to Halesowen Town on Monday 4th August; 7.45pm kick off, before starting the new Vanarama Conference North season on Saturday 9th when they make the trip to Gainsborough Trinity.
Hednesford Town: Crane, Ashmore, Campion, McCone, Francis (Griffiths 71), Bailey, Osborne (Thorley 51), Melbourne, Glover (Robinson 85), Diggin (Markall 64), Taylor
Sub not used: Sullivan
West Bromwich Albion XI: Rose, Atkinson, Wedderburn, Pace, Jones, Howkins, Ward, Nabi, Jones (Roberts 62), Barrow, Kandi (Smart 67)