Hednesford Town took a break from the rigours of Northern Premier League football when they entertained local rivals Walsall Wood in the Isuzu FA Trophy First Qualifying Round. Although the distance from Oak Park to Keys Park is just seven miles and both teams play at step 4 in the Northern Premier League, they play in different Divisions, The Wood in the Midland and The Pitmen in the West, with both sides having similar league records so far this season.
Hednesford Town 0-3 Walsall Wood
A busy opening 25 minutes saw the first opening fall to the Pitmen when Sam Griffiths headed over from a corner. A Wood freekick taken by Joey Butlin was pushed onto the post by Dan Crane and eventually cleared after a goalmouth scramble. Former Pitman Carter Lycett went close after finding space in the box, however his shot went well wide of the target.
In the 37th minute Wood took the lead when a foul by Griffiths gave the visitors a penalty, which was duly converted by Alex Bradley. A well worked corner saw the Wood almost double their lead, with Lycett’s low drive going narrowly wide of the post.
Hednesford Town player manager Danny Glover came on at half time in place of Sam Paddock in an attempt to turn things round. However it was the visitors who dominated the second period. A mix up in the Pitmen defence allowed Joey Butlin to score an easy goal. The Pitmen never really looked like getting back into the game from this point. Glover saw a shot charged down but little else was created by the Pitmen as Walsall ran the show in midfield. Jai Verma’s neat footwork allowed him to find space in the box and he despatched a low shot into the corner of the net to complete the scoring and send Walsall Wood through to the second qualifying round.
Hednesford Town; Crane, Wright (Sang 19), Kelly, Gwilt, Griffiths, Paddock (Glover 46), Morley, Williams, Mardenborough, Abbey (Bower 75), Dixon. Subs not used Mayemba, Richards.
Walsall Wood; Boucher, Mansell, Lycett, Roberts, Unitt, Brown, Verma, Monteiro, Butlin (Montague 79), Bradley (Fitzpatrick 86), Gyasi (Watkins 57). Subs not used; Clarke, Marusiak, McKerdy, Machisa.