Hednesford Town return to the RACE stadium this evening for an eagerly awaited Staffordshire derby against local rivals Tamworth in the Southern League Central Premier Division. The Pitmen will be looking for their home comforts by following up their 5-0 win in their last home game against the visitors who are currently top of the league after an excellent start to the season.
Tamworth are three points clear at the top of the table having won eight and losing only one of their eleven league games so far this season. They have won their last four away games and are unbeaten on the road in five with their only defeat coming at home to Coalville Town.
The Lambs have the hottest striker in the league with Dan Creaney having scored 13 league goals and is five ahead of his nearest challengers, a trio of players including our own Leroy Lita on eight goals. Tamworth’s last game was a 1-0 win at Bromsgrove seven days ago as they enjoyed a break on Saturday due to Needham Market’s continued involvement in the FA Cup.
Tamworth have a number of former Pitmen in their current squad with defenders Matt Curley and James Hurst coming back to the RACE stadium and it’s an even quicker return for winger George Cater, who was with us just last season. They are managed by Andy Peaks who did so well getting AFC Rushden & Diamonds into a play-off position last season before he took over at Tamworth in February, immediately improving the Lambs with a good run to end last season in mid-table.
Hednesford go into the game still without the injured Riley O’Sullivan but should have everyone else available although a couple of players have slight knocks but should all be ready for the game. Mason Birch returns from suspension and Olamide Ibrahim has joined the Pitmen on loan from Derby County. Reflecting on the 1-1 draw at Hitchin Town on Saturday the management team said: “The performance on Saturday was ok but we know we can do better and we need to be more consistent in our performances going forward. I think a draw was probably a fair result in the end and again it shows that there isn’t much between any team in this league.”
The management team is fully aware of the need to start picking up wins and we now have four home league games in a row to try and do so as we have games against Royston, Barwell and Leiston before our next scheduled away game in just under a month’s time. Of tomorrow’s opponents the management team said: “Tamworth are obviously the stand out team so far this season and we know we are in for a real tough test but we are at home and in front of our home fans we will looking to put on a good performance.”
There should be a good crowd with a large away following to create what will be a fantastic atmosphere under the new lights at the RACE stadium.