The Staffordshire derby survived the freezing weather conditions as second from bottom Hednesford Town faced league leaders Tamworth at the Lamb Stadium.
Eoin Mckeown gave the home side an early lead, shooting past Ronnie Hollingshead after some lacklustre Pitmen defending in the sixth minute. The Pitmen broke through into the Tamworth area with Todd Parker who went down under a challenge from Jas Singh, however the referee was not forthcoming with a penalty. McKeown went close to doubling his tally and Dan Creaney saw an effort deflected wide for a corner which was scrambled away. Kyle Bennett equalised for the visitors somewhat against the run of play with a low drive from 18 yards giving Singh no chance to make a save.
Hollingshead made a superb save from Alex Bradley, the Pitmen were unable to clear the resulting corner allowing leading goalscorer Dan Creaney to head home at the far post to regain the lead for the home side. Former Pitman Matt Curley played the ball into the area setting up Creaney for a neat finish, matters got worse for the visitors as Tamworth further extended their lead when McKeown headed home from Creaney’s lob over Hollingshead to give Tamworth a 4-1 half time lead.
Harvey Portman replaced James McQuilkin for the second half as the Pitmen switched to a 3-5-2 formation. Singh cleared Bennett’s effort off the line from a corner, while McKeown tried to chip Hollingshead in the early exchanges of the half. The Pitmen had to weather intense pressure from the home side with McKeown and Creaney both in the hunt for hat tricks, with Hollingshead doing well to keep the score at 4-1. Eventually the relentless onslaught resulted in a third for McKeown and fifth for Tamworth. Alex Collard headed across the Pitmen goal for substitute Ty Deacon to net at the far post to add to the scoreline. Collard headed against the bar before Kyle Finn netted a seventh for Tamworth. The goals continued to come as AJ George crossed for Deacon to claim his brace, before Collard nodded home a rebound to score the ninth home goal of the afternoon and round off an awful afternoon for Hednesford Town.
Tamworth; Singh, Curley, Cockerill-Mollett, Mussa, Collard, Hart, Finn, Milnes (Fairlamb 65), Creaney (Deacon 63), Bradley, McKeown (George 78). Subs; Clement, Cater
Hednesford Town; Hollingshead, Ison, Morley, Thorley, Kaninda, Redfern, Bennett, Parker, O’Sullivan, McQuilkin (Portman 46), Payne. Subs; Asomugha, Agustein, Tilt, Williams