Glover’s Winner Ensures Pitmen Go Into Christmas On High …
Danny Glover eventually managed to force home Hednesford Town’s winner in the second half as a stubborn Gainsborough Trinity side put up a tough fight throughout the game, but it all could have been so different after Glover so nearly recorded one of the strangest open goal misses ever seen at Keys Park!
Cult hero Marvin Robinson made his regular appearance from the substitute bench to give the home side some added impetus in attack after Gainsborough had levelled proceedings shortly after the hour mark and it was Robinson’s presence that unsettled goalkeeper Jan Budtz enough to miss a deep cross into the box.
The ball rolled towards the goal and looked to be going over the line as the Hednesford fans in the Heath Hayes End celebrated, but Glover, in trying to make sure the goal was scored, served only to stab the ball against the upright.
Luckily for Hednesford’s impressive top scorer he was quickest to the rebound, swivelled and slammed the ball into the open goal as Gainsborough’s defenders tried in vain to get back on the line.
The match in general, played on a rather uneven pitch at times, was a tetchy affair, especially in the first half as Captain Darren Campion refused to back down from provocation by Darryn Stamp who was at the centre of most incidents in the opening half an hour, before being substituted after a nasty collision with Dan Crane.
In between the squabbling and posturing, Paul McCone had given the home side the lead on 21 minutes when he rose highest from a corner and headed the ball emphatically beyond Budtz.
James Hurst had to bravely head the ball clear after Crane dropped a long ball into the box which fell to the tiny substitute Lynton Karkach, who, despite giving away almost a foot to McCone and Bailey, looked a threat throughout the match.
Hurst was then involved down the right wing in an attacking sense as he skipped past two challenges only to see Richard Batchelor head his cross wide when very well-placed, but it was Gainsborough who came out the stronger in the second half.
Karkach popped up again at the back post but saw his shot squirm across the goal with the Pitmen defence desperately trying to hack the ball clear before Glover grazed the top of the crossbar with another of his trademark long range free kicks.
Karkach finally bagged the equaliser on 68 minutes when a loose ball fell to him inside the area but to their credit, Hednesford began to boss midfield as Gainsborough tired, the winner came eventually through Glover and the striker could have added twice to his tally but for the linesman’s flag and a solid save from Budtz.
Charlie Binns forced Crane into a fantastic save in stoppage time from long range but, had the ball beaten Hednesford’s goalkeeper, the Keys Park faithful would have been fuming at letting the victory get away from them.
The Pitmen go into Christmas Day in the top half of the league, just five points from the lowest play-off place, hoping this win serves as the start of a consistent run of form required to push for promotion into 2015.
Crane, Hurst, Campion (c), Bailey, McCone (21), Thorley (Robinson 74), Osborne, Walker, Glover (75), Diggin (Westwood 78), Batchelor (Thomas 62),
Subs Not Used
Budtz, Roma (c), Lacey, Binns, Quinn (Salt 61), Picton, Roberts, Toner, Bateson, Stamp (Karkach 27 (68)), Davie,
Subs Not Used
Martin, Plumtree, Wisdom-Lockwood,
Bookings – Campion, Osborne, Walker, Glover, Diggin, Thomas, Salt,
Star Man – Danny Glover
Entertainment Rating – 3 Stars
Attendance – 417