Hednesford Town moved into the last eight of the Integro League Cup with an impressive win at Matlock Town. The last two visits to The Autoworld Arena had seen defeats for The Pitmen who made five changes to their starting line up following the goalless draw with Whitby Town last Saturday.
It was the visitors who started the game on the front foot when a free kick from the influential James Lawrie found Callam Mendez-Jones whose shot hit the bar, Danny Glover’s follow up being well saved by Phil Barnes.
However, on 25 minutes the home side took the lead with a well taken goal. A free kick was played out to Shaun Harrad who turned Matt Curley and found the far side of James Wren’s goal with an accurate finish.
Matlock’s Curtis Morrison was causing problems down the left but on 34 minutes it was Hednesford who equalised through Reece King. James Lawrie’s cross was dummied by Danny Glover and King’s shot took a deflection to leave Barnes wrong footed. In the 34th minute Jordan Graham’s flick on found Lawrie who fired just wide with the keeper beaten.
The second half started in great fashion for Hednesford with Danny Glover giving them the lead from close range before most of the crowd had returned to their seats.
A flurry of substitutes from both sides unsettled the flow of the game until Hednesford grabbed a third goal. James Wren’s long ball down the middle caused confusion in the Matlock defence and ended with Jan Yeomans heading the ball over his own goalkeeper and into the net despite the best efforts of Dwayne Wiley to clear.
Despite a couple of late efforts from The Gladiators, Hednesford saw out the rest of the game to claim a deserved victory and move into the next round.
Matlock Town : Barnes, Jackson, Yeomans, Vince, Wallace, Wiley, Cribley, Williams, Harrad, Limb, Morrison.
Subs: Wood (for Jackson, 89), Ondong-Mba (for Morrison, 57), Brunt (for Limb, 67)
Sub not used: Smith-Eccles
Hednesford Town : Wren, Mendez-Jones, Curley, Bailey, King, Gatter, Harris, Thorley, Glover, Graham, Lawrie.
Subs: Butlin (for Graham, 76), Fitzpatrick (for King, 67), Walsh (for Harris 64)
Subs not used: Oji, Veiga
Man of the Match : Callam Mendez-Jones