Solid away performance earns Pitmen the points ….
Two goals in four first half minutes ensured Hednesford Town would return home from Boston with maximum points as they picked up their first away triumph of the season on a Saturday with a composed 2-0 victory, writes Scott Smith.
Goals from Paul McCone and Paul Sullivan would ultimately prove the difference between the two sides; however The Pitmen could well have extended their lead to win by a larger margin in what was Rob Smith’s side’s best away performance to date this season.
The Pitmen made four changes from the team which had been defeated in the FA Cup last weekend, with Paul McCone, Chris Westwood, Paul Sullivan and new signing Jamie Crowther all coming into the side as they switched to a 5-3-2 formation. This seemed to very much suit Town as they controlled the opening exchanges.
The first real chance arrived in the 20th minute as good interplay saw Alex Melbourne get to the by-line and his cross was headed wide by Sullivan at the back post.
Despite having plenty of possession, Hednesford still had to remain switched on at the back and thankfully they were as in the 33rd minute McCone made a brilliant recovery tackle to deny Conor Robinson who was just about to fire in an effort on goal; whilst five minutes later David Fallah headed over the bar from inside the six-yard box as the home side tried to exert some more pressure on Dan Crane’s goal.
It would be Town who would strike first though in the 39th minute. A corner from the right-hand side found McCone who, despite seeing his first effort clawed out by Boston goalkeeper Paul Farman, was on hand to bundle the ball home for his first goal of the season.
Four minutes later and things got even better for Hednesford as they made it 2-0. McCone once again caused havoc inside the penalty area and his knockdown found Sullivan who, after shifting the ball onto his left-foot, finished clinically into the bottom corner of the net from 12 yards out.
The second period was barely 60 seconds old when the home side went close to pulling a goal back when Liam Marrs’ cross went narrowly wide of Crane’s back post. But to be honest, apart from this and a number of routine catches, it would be one of the easier afternoons for the Hednesford shot-stopper.
Instead it was the away side that posed the greater dangers and in the 73rd minute they had a chance to make it 3-0 when Melbourne stole possession, but with only Farman to beat, the midfielder scuffed his shot into the grateful arms of the goalkeeper; whilst six minutes later substitute Tom Thorley couldn’t quite connect properly with James Hurst’s whipped cross in as he slid his effort wide at the back post.
Hednesford were boosted further in the final minute of the game as striker Steve Diggin made his first appearance for the club after nearly two months on the sidelines following an injury picked up just before the start of the season. The return of Diggin will be a big boost to Rob Smith and more results like this will also do no harm. His team played out the final few minutes to record an impressive victory over a side that had started the day in sixth position in the Vanarama Conference North.
The Pitmen now face four home games on the spin, starting on Tuesday evening as they host Colwyn Bay at Keys Park, 7.45pm kick-off.
Boston United: Farman, Marrs, Steer, Dowie, Garner, Galinski, Hollingsworth (Marshall 51), Fallah (Dixon 51), Southwell, Robinson, Meadows (Doran 65)
Subs not used: Tempest, Felix
Hednesford Town: Crane, Hurst, Campion, Bailey, McCone, Westwood, Osborne (Thorley 76), Crowther, Glover (Diggin 89), Sullivan (Peers 65), Melbourne
Subs not used: Robinson, Ashmore
Star Man: Paul McCone
Entertainment Rating: Three Stars