Hednesford Town return to league action tonight when they make the short trip to local rivals Tamworth for an eagerly anticipated Staffordshire derby. Although there are only 11 games left of our 2021/22 Southern League Premier Central campaign this is the first meeting between the two clubs as the match was previously postponed on New Year’s Day. The two teams will also meet in 41 days time at Keys Park on Bank Holiday Easter Monday.
Tamworth are on course for their lowest league placing in over 20 years having spent most of that time in the National League and National League North. They have only completed one season in this league due to the Covid affected last two seasons when they finished 12th in 2018/19 during a season when we were in the Northern Premier League. In August 2019 we won 1-0 at Tamworth on Bank Holiday Monday in scorching hot conditions when Liam Truslove settled the match with a 78th minute penalty, although we were soundly beaten 3-0 in the return match at Keys Park that season on 2nd January as both matches were played out in front of crowds of over 800. Unfortunately due to the pandemic that season didn’t end and the matches were erased and last season ended before we played either match.
Tamworth have some excellent players in their squad despite their league position with the likes of goalkeeper Jas Singh and midfielders Dan Bradley and Ryan Beswick all having played at a higher level, whilst they also have three former Pitmen in their side with legendary centre half Ben Bailey and defender/midfielder James Hurst along with Jack Thomas, who impressed with us whilst on loan from Mansfield some years ago.
Tamworth are in a mini run of form with four games without defeat and new manager Andy Peaks, recently tempted from AFC Rushden & Diamonds, has won two games and drawn one of his three games in charge, having announced the same starting line up and subs for all of those games. Their season started with joint managers Gary Smith and Andrew Danylyszyn before Danylyszyn stepped down at the beginning of the year and Smith lasting for just a further month. Tamworth have had an alarming slide down the table and 4-0 defeats against Coalville, Rushall and Stourbridge all since the turn of the new year had left The Lambs facing a relegation battle until the change of manager.
Tamworth’s leading goalscorer this season is striker Daniel Creaney, who has scored 12 league goals including two early season hat-tricks. None of the rest of the current players havescored more than three league goals all season though after Tyrell Waite (four) left the club in December to sign for divisional rivals Coalville Town. The two teams are only separated by one point and two places(13th and 15th) in the league table but the recent form is with the home side as the Pitmen look for their first league win in five and to put an end to the unbeaten record of new Tamworth manager Andy Peaks.
Ground address: The CR MOT Community Stadium at The Lamb, Kettlebrook Road, Tamworth, B77 1AA