Smith Looks To Continue Derby Form As Tamworth Come to Town …
Hednesford Town boss Rob Smith has given a small insight into how he ensures his Pitmen sides are ready for big local derbies as Tamworth prepare to travel the short distance down the A5 to Keys Park tomorrow afternoon.
During his highly successful tenure at the club, since 2009 Smith has masterminded famous victories over Stafford Rangers and Telford United, not to mention Senior Cup victories versus Birmingham City and Walsall and the manager believes that making sure his players are fully aware of the importance of the fixture to the supporters is an important point to get across.
‘We have had some great results in local derbies over the past few years; it’s simply a case of getting over to the players the significance of the fixture in the lead up to the game.
‘As always, the mood is good in the camp. We have been playing well recently and I think it will be a tremendous game tomorrow. Tamworth have always been backed very well, I played there for three seasons so know first hand just what good supporters they have. However, our fans have been superb all season and I know they will be very vocal during the game.’
Tamworth have had a poor start to their first season below the Conference for a decade and currently lie in 19th place but, as is regularly the case, such is Smith’s knowledge of this level of football, he is under no illusions as to the test Hednesford will face at Keys Park and, despite missing recent signing Richard Batchelor in midfield and his inspirational captain Darren Campion, the manager has full confidence in his squad.
‘Tamworth may be struggling in the league but they will be nowhere near relegation come May. They have a top manager and a squad full of talent; it will be a really difficult game so we need to start well but must be clinical in front of goal.
‘Campion and Batchelor will be a big miss. Both players are leaders on the pitch but it gives a chance to others to come in stake a claim for a regular start and I have total faith in the squad.’
The two sides have met twice in the last two seasons in the Birmingham Senior Cup, with Tamworth winning 5-2 to reach the final at The Lamb last year with the Pitmen exacting a revenge of sorts this season, triumphing 2-1 after extra time thanks to goals from Ben Bailey and Danny Glover back in October.
The game tomorrow is the first time Tamworth and Hednesford have locked horns in a league game since 2003, the Lambs won both meetings that season on the way to the Dr. Marten’s Southern Premier League title but, with The Pitmen looking to bounce back from last week’s defeat to Stockport and in a far better place form wise than the visitors, this game could be the time Hednesford secure the bragging rights.
Hednesford Town Form – WDWWDL
Previous Result – Stockport County 3 Hednesford Town 0 – Vanarama Conference North – Saturday 15th November 2014
Next Fixture – Halesowen Town (A) – Birmingham Senior Cup Round Two – Tuesday 25th November 2014
League Position – 9th
Tamworth Form – DDDWDL
Previous Result – Lowestoft Town 3 Tamworth 2 – Vanarama Conference North – Saturday 15th November 2014
Next Fixture – Brackley Town (H) – Vanarama Conference North – Tuesday 25th November 2014
League Position – 19th
KO – 3pm
Address of Ground – Keys Park, Keys Park Road, Hednesford, WS12