Both Hednesford Town and Leamington go into today’s clash at the New Windmill Ground desperate for victories for different reasons as The Pitmen look to win three points to re-ignite their push towards the play-off places, with the Brakes all too aware that anything other than a positive result could see them inch closer to the relegation trap door.
The Pitmen, having exited at the first attempt in both the FA Cup and FA Trophy for the first time in many years, now have only the League and Birmingham Senior Cup to concentrate on, a fact not lost on assistant manager Larry Chambers.
‘Of course Saturday is now a vital game for us, we are under no illusions now we are out of both cup competitions that the league is hugely important. Rob and I know Leamington well, but all friendships will go out of the window come 3pm as they are desperate for the points as well.’
Chambers also gave some reasons behind the major transfer news announced yesterday with the signing of defender Paul McCone and subsequent release of Francino Francis.
Francis, a stalwart in defence remembered most fondly for his imperious performance against FC United of Manchester in the 2013 play-off final, has struggled for form this season and with McCone available again after previously impressing in a Hednesford shirt, Chambers saw the swap as good for the team.
‘Francino hasn’t reached the levels he would have liked this season and once we heard Paul was potentially available there was no reason not to make the move for him, as we didn’t want Paul to go when he left previously.’
McCone will go straight into a squad which, thanks to the continued absence of Paul Sullivan and Chris Westwood and weakened further by the absence of Archie Love due to work commitments, could also potentially be missing Tom Thorley who has a toe infection, with a decision likely to be made in the morning on the fitness of the former Worcester midfielder.
There is, of course, a bit of history between the two sides following their epic confrontations during their time in the Southern Premier League and with last season’s game at Leamington, settled by Stefan Moore’s quite incredible 35 yard volley for the Brakes, still no doubt fresh in the minds of Pitmen supporters and players, so today’s game should be a great spectacle.
Hednesford Town Form – WDLLWL
Previous Result – AFC Fylde 3 Hednesford Town 2 – FA Trophy Third Round Qualifying – Saturday 29th November 2014
Next Fixture – Gainsborough Trinity (H) – Vanarama Conference North – Saturday 20th December 2014
League Position – 11th
Leamington Form – LDDLDL
Previous Result – Bradford Park Avenue 3 Leamington 1– FA Trophy Third Round Qualifying – Saturday 29th November 2014
Next Fixture – Brackley (A) – Vanarama Conference North – Saturday 13th December 2014
League Position – 17th
KO – 3pm
Address of Ground – New Windmill Ground, Harbury Lane, Bishops Tachbrook, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV33 9QB