Pitmen Toil As Chorley Score In Each Half To Win …
Hednesford Town fell to defeat at Victory Park on Saturday as Chorley moved up to third place in the league with a goal in each half that highlighted some important questions for Rob Smith and his side to answer in the coming weeks despite The Pitmen being the better side in the first half.
The opening 20 minutes or so were very positive for The Pitmen as they faced an in-form side, still brimming with confidence following promotion last season, and had the better chances with James Hurst getting forward from right back with joyful abandon as first his cross on nine minutes was glanced wide by Danny Glover and then on the half way point of the opening period Hurst again reached the by-line but Tom Peers, recently signed for another month on loan from Chester, pulled his shot wide of the post.
Glover also forced Sam Ashton into a smart save as Melbourne was the provider this time and with Jamey Osborne a constant threat in the centre of midfield, drawing at least two free kicks in dangerous areas The Pitmen looked well worth going into the break level at worst.
Unfortunately for Hednesford Mark Ross had other ideas and as the clock ticked towards 45 minutes he strode forward and hit an unstoppable shot into the far left hand corner of the goal giving the sprawling Dan Crane no chance.
Refusing to be rocked by the goal The Pitmen almost hit back straight away as Tom Peers bore down on goal, beat the keeper with his shot but saw Tom Smyth make an outstanding last ditch block on the line to divert the ball clear.
Hednesford’s golden chance to equalise came on 53 minutes when a Tom Thorley corner found Ben Bailey perfectly placed, 12 yards out to head the ball into the net but the defender, usually a real threat from set pieces, didn’t get the right contact and as the ball fizzed wide, so did The Pitmen’s chances of a point at least.
Alex Melbourne had to hack the ball clear of the line shortly afterwards and after Glover’s weak header was straight at the keeper James Dean followed up an initial shot by Jack Dorney to sweep the ball into the net on the hour mark to double Chorley’s lead and settle the contest.
Following the second goal Rob Smith’s team really struggled to get a hold of the ball in midfield and, with both Kris Taylor and Jamey Osborne out of sorts and substituted in the second half The Pitmen never really looked like launching a recovery despite Sullivan’s header down finding the arms of Ashton and Hurst’s dipping shot which smashed against the bar in the final minutes.
The Pitmen made the journey back to the Midlands frustrated at not making their dominance pay in the first half and disappointed in the way Chorley were able to secure the points in the second with relative ease.
Next Saturday’s long trip to Kings Lynn Town in the FA Cup is a huge game for the financial side of the football club with another long trip the following Saturday against a Boston United side lurking just outside of the play off places.
Ashton, Ross (44), Mather, Doyle, Smyth, Roscoe, Hine (Jarvis 78), Whitham © (Lynch 90), Dean (60) (Mulholland 90), Dorney, Stephenson,
Subs Not Used – Esdaille-Biney, Grundy,
Crane, Hurst, Campion ©, Bailey, Francis, Taylor (Ashmore 51), Osborne (Sullivan 65), Melbourne, Glover, Peers, Thorley (McQuilkin 73),
Subs Not Used – McCone, Price,
Bookings – Ross, Campion,
Star Man – James Dean
Entertainment Rating – 3 Stars
Attendance – 1131