Hednesford Town go into a Bank Holiday weekend double header after securing their first victory of the season against Harrogate Town last Saturday, with manager Rob Smith declaring his experiment with three centre halves has been shelved in favour of a more attacking mentality.
The pre-season form of central defenders Francino Francis, Ben Bailey and Paul McCone certainly warranted a new formation but, after slow starts in the first half of both defeats against Gainsborough Trinity and Leamington, Smith admits the tactics weren’t giving his players the attacking freedom he craved.
‘We were on the front foot for the whole 90 minutes against Harrogate and I believe this is down to reverting to our usual back four. I don’t think the players started slowly on purpose, but the formation meant that in the first two games we could not get enough players forward.
‘It was really important for us to get points on the board as soon as possible and hopefully the victory against Harrogate will give the players confidence going into the weekend.’
Smith, as is always the case, is very aware of the two next opponents his team face and, much like Hednesford’s results this season, believes the league position of both Solihull and Gloucester gives a false impression.
‘Both fixtures will be very tough. We know first hand how difficult the game with Gloucester is after last season’s 5-1 hammering and I believe they have one of the best managers in the league now in Tim Harris. They have been unlucky not to win all three games to date so it is a very difficult fixture.
‘Solihull are a very well drilled and strong outfit who we again know very well. They beat us at our place last season so we know this will be as hard as any other fixture we have at Keys Park this campaign.’
Smith is still having to do without James Hurst, Steve Diggin and Paul Sullivan due to injury, but with new signings likely in the coming weeks, will no doubt be looking for a positive performance building on Saturday’s first victory of the season.
Any supporters keen on making the journey down to Cheltenham Town’s Whaddon Road for Saturday’s game against Gloucester can book their place on the Travel Club coach departing Keys Park at 10.45am by contacting Ken Leese on 07935 723290.