Hednesford Town welcome old foes Bradford Park Avenue to Keys Park tomorrow afternoon with confidence beginning to grow in a squad who have turned in two quality performances in the past seven days, and, despite all the worries about a lack of consistency, lie in 8th place, just four points outside the play-offs.
Rob Smith‘s side followed up last week’s straightforward 4-1 home win against bottom club Hyde with a performance of real grit and determination against local rivals Tamworth in the Birmingham Senior Cup, winning 2-1 AET and, despite the squad feeling the strain after 120 minutes on Tuesday night, the manager was delighted with the application of his players.
‘I was really pleased with the effort again on Tuesday. It was not ideal having to play 120 minutes but we really wanted to progress so overall I’m very happy.
‘However we have a few knocks and bruises now after such a tough game. Paul Sullivan has a knee injury and is almost certainly out, joining Francino Francis, Glenn Walker and James Hurst on the sidelines.
‘Jamey Osborne and Darren Campion are also both struggling with midweek knocks, so we are again down to the bare bones.’
Despite the injury niggles in his squad, there were two players in particular who impressed manager and fans alike with their performance on Tuesday night, with Ben Bailey imperious in central defence and Danny Glover, coming from the substitute bench after Sullivan’s injury, to help win the game.
‘Ben was superb, as he has been during my time here. He has become a real leader on the pitch now and will get better.
‘We have really worked Danny hard this season, he has been the one constant up front and it was nice to give him a rest to begin with. The pleasing thing for me is that he was disappointed not to start! He won us the game with his goal in extra time and looks in great shape.’
The Avenue picked up their first win in seven matches against a Barrow side who had gone unbeaten since the opening day of the season last Saturday, so the fixture will present a difficult game for The Pitmen and one which will always evoke memories of the hugely disappointing 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Bradford in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division play-off semi final in 2012.
Hednesford Town Form – LLWLWW
Previous Result – Hednesford Town 2 Tamworth 1 AET – Birmingham Senior Cup First Round – Tuesday 14th October 2014
Next Fixture – Walsall Wood (A) – Staffordshire Senior Cup – Tuesday 21st October 2014
Current League Position – 8th
Bradford Park Avenue Form – LLLDLW
Previous Result – Bradford Park Avenue 2 Barrow 1 – Vanarama Conference North – Saturday 11th October 2014
Next Fixture – Tamworth (H) – Vanarama Conference North – Saturday 1st November 2014
Current League Position – 16th