Hednesford Town face a daunting trip to Southern League Central play-off hopefuls Coalville Town this afternoon hoping to build on Tuesday night’s excellent 3-1 win over Stourbridge.
Coalville are a strong and solid team at this level and had gradually improved over the years. They have only been at Step three since 2016/17 and spent the first couple of seasons fighting relegation in the Northern Premier League. In 2018/19 they were switched to the Southern Premier League Central and finished 6th in the first season. Although the last two seasons were abandoned they were doing well in both at the time and last season they had won five and drawn two of their seven games before the season was suspended. Their improvement has continued this season and they will make the play-offs, as they have a 16 point lead over 6th placed Alvechurch, who only have four games left to play. Coalville are 2nd in the league at the moment, three points ahead of Rushall with two games in hand and four points ahead of Peterborough with one game in hand, so they are in a great position to get home ties in the play-offs.
In the last five matches at Keys Park between the clubs, Coalville have won three of them without conceding a goal to us, although we did manage to win an FA Trophy tie against them in November 2019. We have also lost two of the last three away games against them too, with only one draw which was only secured in injury time when Desean Martin scored one of the best goals in HTFC history with a dipping half-volley from 30 yards out to clinch a 2-2 draw. When the two teams met earlier this season Coalville won 2-0 and scored the goals in injury time at the end of each half despite the Pitmen playing well throughout the rest of the match.
Coalville are currently 2nd in the form table with 12 points from their last six games. They have only lost one league game at home this season which was their last one against relegation threatened Lowestoft. The most impressive statistic about Coalville though is how they have managed to keep their squad together over the last few seasons. Manager Adam Stevens is now in his second spell as manager having got the club to the final of the FA Vase in 2011. Players such as 19 goal top scorer Tim Berridge and winger Luke Shaw (11 goals) have been at the club since 2018 and midfielder Thomas McGlinchey (10 goals) signed for the club in 2017. Former Football League striker Billy Kee was signed in June 2021 and he has also scored 16 league goals this season.
The Pitmen will be full of confidence after Leroy Lita’s debut hat-trick on Tuesday night to set up an intriguing encounter at Owen Street tomorrow.
Ground address: Mander Cruickshank Solicitors Stadium, Owen Street, Coalville, Leicestershire, LE67 3DA