Saturday sees the start of a new era at Keys Park when Trafford are the visitors as Hednesford start their Northern Premier League West Division campaign for the 2023/24 season. Just a few weeks ago many fans thought that they wouldn’t see this day but thanks to the intervention of Chairman Hayden Dando they can now watch their team begin life at Step 4.
Trafford are seasoned Northern Premier League campaigners having played in the Premier Division, First Division North or North West Division since 2008/09. Last season they finished in 10th place in the West Division and they have several players who have experience in the NPL such as strikers Tom Bentham and Ashley Mulholland and midfielder Jack Dorney.
The two sides have met only once previously in the FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round in the 2012/13 season when The Pitmen came away from Trafford’s Shawe View ground with a 2-0 victory thanks to goals from midfielders Elliott Durrell and Jamey Osborne. Dan Crane played in goal for Hednesford that day and will be the only survivor from both teams on Saturday.
Hednesford will start the game with virtually a brand-new squad on Saturday. Although Dan Crane, Sam Griffiths, Desean Martin, Callam Mendez-Jones, Mikey Nelson, Michael Williams and Lewis Wright have all played for the club before, only Player-Manager Danny Glover and midfielders Tom Thorley and Jack Sang were at Keys Park last season.
Kick off is at the usual time of 3pm with the turnstiles and bars opening at 1pm. Admission this season is £11 adults, £8 concessions (students, disabled and over 60s) and £3 for under 16s. The award winning matchday programme will also be on sale and is well worth a read.