Pitmen Push Premier League Opposition Close …
Hednesford Town bowed out of the Birmingham Senior Cup at the quarter final stage as West Bromwich Albion, fielding numerous first team players, sneaked a 1-0 victory despite being given a stern test by their Vanarama Conference North opponents.
The Baggies, their line up swelled by the experienced Jonas Olsson in defence with Sebastien Pocognoli, Cristian Gamboa and Jason Davidson also starting, scored the winning goal on 50 minutes when Adil Nabi showed a rare moment of class with a reverse pass into Alex Jones who beat Andy Todd to the ball and finished past Dan Crane.
It was the home side who belied the gap in the league pyramid with a spirited performance led by the ever lively Marvin Robinson in attack and backed up by an assured performance in central midfield by Tom Thorley.
Robinson saw a goal disallowed in stoppage time when he was flagged offside despite sending a superb header past Jack Rose after a quality ball in by Adam Thomas and the forward had legitimate claims for a penalty waved away by the referee when he beat Kyle Howkins to a near post cross and looked to have been felled by the defender.
The Pitmen showed great desire throughout the 90 minutes to match their opponents with Nick Rushton improvising with an overhead kick which found Rose’s hands early on and Robinson again coming close when he rifled a venomous shot on the turn just before the break.
Olsson, playing his way back into fitness after a long lay-off, looked rusty at times but his experience of over 200 first team games for Albion meant the home side never really had the veteran defender on the turn.
Hednesford manager Rob Smith will no doubt be proud of his squad and can take solace in the effort and attitude shown by his in-form team against a fit and professional team who will go on to play Nuneaton Town in the semi-final.
The only negative from The Pitmen’s night was a worrying looking foot injury to centre back Paul McCone in the first half and they now look ahead to welcoming Brackley Town to Keys Park on Saturday, right in the mix for promotion via the play-offs from the Vanarama Conference North.
Crane, Hurst ©, Walker, Bailey, McCone (Todd 33), Thorley, Osborne (Batchelor 64), Thomas, Robinson, Rushton (Diggin 70), Kerry,
Subs Not Used: Melbourne
West Bromwcih Albion
Rose, Atkinson, Pocognoli, Birch, Howkins, Olsson, Gamboa, S Nabi, Jones (50), A Nabi, Davidson,
Subs Not Used: Wedderburn, Pace, Barrow, Cleet, Palmer,
Bookings – Kerry
Star Man – Marvin Robinson
Entertainment Rating – 4 Stars
Attendance – 360