Hednesford Town resume their Southern League Premier Central campaign tomorrow afternoon with a visit to Hertfordshire to face Hitchin Town.
The Pitmen will be looking to bounce back from the heartbreak of a last minute own goal on Tuesday night which saw them leave Basford United with nothing after a dominant second half performance. That result, coupled with Rushden’s shock win against high flying Nuneaton has returned the Pitmen to the bottom of the table, five points away from the safety mark with a quarter of the season gone.
Our hosts Hitchin Town are currently in 12th place in the table having achieved seven points more than us so far. However, they are in a poor run of form and strangely they have lost five of their last six games in league and cup, all by the same scoreline of 0-3. They started the season with a four match unbeaten run but they have only won one of their last six league games. The Canaries are managed by Mark Burke who is a Hitchin legend, he is the second highest appearance maker in the club’s history having played over 730 games for the club and has been manager since the beginning of 2014/15 season. After two play-off finishes in 2015/16 and 2016/17 the club has finished 18th and 17th in the last two completed seasons.
Hednesford go into the game without the injured Riley O’Sullivan and the suspended Mason Birch. Luke Rowe, however, had no adverse reaction to training this week and will hopefully be in the squad. Midfielder Samir Nabi will also be available having missed the trip to Basford with the management team saying: “Samir has not played much football recently so two games in four days was always going to be a stretch for him as we are building up his fitness levels.”
Despite continuing with an improvement in performance the Pitmen came away from Tuesday’s game at Basford with a 0-1 defeat which was made worse by the fact that the Pitmen conceded the only goal two minutes into injury time. However, the management team are confident that we remain on the right track, saying: “Tuesday at Basford was probably the best we have played since we took over. We were solid at the back, dominant in possession and caused them problems all game. Basford are a really good side especially at home so although the result was a tough one to take and it hurt to concede right at the death we didn’t deserve it and we have to take the many positives from the game into Saturday at Hitchin.”
The games are coming thick and fast in October with Hitchin on Saturday followed by visits from league leaders Tamworth on Tuesday and then Royston Town next Saturday, but the approach to the games will remain the same as the management team said: “Our approach is simple; we must carry on where we left off at Basford and the results will come. We have a massive week ahead and we will be looking for it to be a positive one.”
Ground address: Hitchin Town Football Club, Top Field, Fishponds Road, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, SG5 1NU.