The Pitmen traveled to the Red Industries Stadium to face Newcastle Town in the NPL West, both sides were looking for their first league win of the season after Saturday’s opening fixtures saw Hednesford draw against Trafford and Newcastle lose 2-1 to Bootle.
Player manager Danny Glover shuffled his pack for the game bringing Ryan Andrews, Reinaldo Forbes and Max Dixon into the starting eleven at the expense of Jack Sang, Harry Bower and Star Mayemba. The home side struggled to contain the Pitmen’s attacking play from early on in the game, Rivel Mardenborough went close twice in the first ten minutes seeing one shot tipped over for a corner by James McClenaghan and another going inches wide. In the 20th minute home defender Josh Jordan conceded a penalty when he handled in the area, Mardenborough’s spot kick was well saved by McClenaghan to keep the game scoreless. The Pitmen controlled the game in terms of both possession and in preventing Newcastle from developing any meaningful attack, however the home keeper was in inspired form making decent saves from Desean Martin, Sam Griffiths and Max Dixon in the first half.
The Pitmen continued to pile the pressure on in the second half, Kyle Stubbs produced a goal line clearance from Forbes, while Jack Kelly hit the woodwork as the Newcastle goal continued to lead a charmed life. The breakthrough finally came in the 75th minute when substitute Harry Bower took the ball down the left to the byline, producing an inch perfect cross allowing Dixon to bustle in at the far post and head home. Later on midfielder Tom Thorley broke through the defence and was felled by Jordan, Ryan Andrews curled the freekick around the three man wall however the impressive McClenaghan was there to make another save. A final scoreline of 1-0 did not reflect the Pitmen’s dominance in a complete team performance away from home in front of a large and vocal travelling contingent.
After the game Danny Glover commented; “I though we were brilliant from minute zero to ninety-four, there was only one team in it. We were comfortable in possession and moved the ball well. Their goalkeeper was man of the match, and I don’t think there could have been any complaints if it had been four or five. It was good to get the goal and we thoroughly deserved it, I was pleased with everyone, it was enjoyable to watch.”
Newcastle Town; McClenaghan, Derbyshire, Ritchie, T Van Der Laan, Jordan (Lake 90), Stubbs, Edwards, J Van Der Laan, Carmichael (Mazurkiewicz 67), Thompson (Holdham 82), Speed. Subs not used; Slinn, M Van Der Laan.
Hednesford Town; Crane, Mendez-Jones, Kelly, Martin, Williams, Griffiths, Andrews (Sang 88), Thorley, Mardenborough (Mayemba 70), Dixon, Forbes (Bower 70). Subs not used; Paddock, Richards.