DATE  19.11.2016
COMPETITION   Evo-Stik Premier League
Matlock Town  MATLOCK TOWN (1) 2
Dinanga (8), McManus (62)
Hednesford Town  HEDNESFORD TOWN (0) 0
MoTM  Tom Thorley
TOP SCORER  George Carline (9)
FORM GUIDE  W  L  W  L  L  W  W  W  W  D  L
1st Whitby Town 19 40
2nd Rushall Olympic 20 39
3rd Blyth Spartans 19 37
5th Buxton 19 34
6th Matlock Town 18 34
7th Spennymoor Town 17 32
8th Nantwich Town 16 31
9th Workington 19 30
10th Warrington Town 21 30
11th Ashton United 21 29
12th Stourbridge 18 29
Paul Casey's first league game as Hednesford manager ended in defeat at in-form Matlock own this afternoon, leaving the new man at the helm with much to ponder about his new club

Much had taken place at Keys Park since Tuesday night's F.A. Trophy defeat to local rivals Stafford Rangers, with Casey busy in the transfer market as he looked to add to his threadbare squad. Three new faces were named in the squad by Casey ahead of trip to Causeway Lane, with centre back Dan Brenan arriving from Loughborough University, winger Luke Shearer returning to the club from Sporting Khalsa and big striker Tony Clarke making the switch from Bromsgrove Sporting. Danny Glover had been ruled out for a number of weeks due to injury, with Lewis Wright replacing Michael Williams at right back

Matlock had been one of the league's form sides in recent weeks, with ex-Hednesford midfielder Craig Hopkins and joint-manager Glenn Kirkwood overseeing a run of seven wins from the last eight games. The Gladiators boasted one of the league's most in-form players in Marcus Dinanga, with the Burton Albion loanee into double figures this season already on the goal front

On a hard, bumpy pitch, the Pitmen started with purpose, playing a quick, direct game early on. George Carline went agonisingly close to giving the Pitmen a sixth minute lead, but was denied by a wonderful save from Matlock keeper Phil Barnes. A cross from Cohen Bramall found Carline lurking on the edge of the penalty area, with the midfielder unleashing a superb volley that looked destined for the top corner of the net until Barnes got enough on the ball to turn it onto the underside of the crossbar and away from goal

The men in red were made to pay for this miss, as danger man Dinanga struck goal number eleven of the season on eight minutes. Curtis Morrison won a loose ball before playing it through to Dinanga, who got goal side of Brenan and turned the ball past Crane from seventeen yards out to make it 1-0

Neat play down the left saw Bramall and Shearer link up well, but Bramall's cross-cum-shot ended up on the top of the Matlock net

Dinanga and Morrison linked up once more to create another opening on twenty one minutes, requiring a late block from Flanagan to turn Dinanga's shot away for a Matlock corner kick

Morrison was again involved a few minutes later, turning Brenan and firing just wide of Crane's goal from the edge of the penalty area

Singh fired straight into the arms of Barnes with a weak free kick on the half hour mark after winning the kick himself, before Shearer used his pace to get in behind the Matlock defence but pulling his shot on the run wide of goal

Casey made the bold tactical move of removing the ineffective Singh on thirty nine minutes, replacing him with Ashley Sammons to give the Pitmen more presence up front with Shearer fighting a lone battle

 The Pitmen started the second period well enough, with Carline heading narrowly wide of goal on fifty minutes from a Tom Thorley corner kick

Brenan could probably count himself lucky to only be shown a yellow card for a nasty-looking challenge on Dinanga on fifty eight minutes. The youngster will have learnt a lot from his first outing at step three having been given the runaround by Dinanga for much of the game

  The Pitmen were forced into their second change of the afternoon on the hour mark, as Bramall limped off and was replaced by Jamie Matthews, who had missed Tuesday night due to illness

The disruption to the Hednesford side saw them pay the price once more, as they fell two goals behind on sixty two minutes. The Pitmen looked to have initially cleared their lines through a combination of Thorley and James Mutton, only for Niall McManus to swiftly turn on the ball and fire past Crane on the rebound with a well-taken goal

The Pitmen started to play some of the passing game that had been noted for this term following the second Matlock goal, with one such move opening Matlock up down the Hednesford right on sixty eight minutes. A superb low cross from Carline found Matthews unmarked at the far post, but the striker somehow failed to turn the ball home from a yard out

Tristian Dunkley - goal hero on Tuesday night - was given more valuable match time by Casey on seventy minutes as he came on in place of the tiring Shearer

The Pitmen enjoyed plenty of possession in the final fifteen minutes, but were well shackled by a well-organised Matlock defence. Their only real opening came with five minutes remaining, as Sammons fired a Carline lay-off wide of goal from twenty five yards out

Much to ponder, then, for Hednesford's new manager, ahead of next week's visit of strugglers Coalville Town. A full week's training will be a massive benefit for the new man as he attempts to mould the side in his own form ahead of the busy winter period that could define the Pitmen's season
Calum Flanagan in action  Gurjit Singh and Lewis Wright watch on  George Carline sends over a cross  New manager Paul Casey - much to think about
No. Player Mins On On/Off For Goals
Dan Crane 90  
Lewis Wright 90    
Calum Flanagan 90
Simeon Maye 90    
James Mutton 90    
Dan Brenan 90    
Gurjit Singh 39 Sammons  
Tom Thorley 90    
George Carline 90
Luke Shearer 70 Dunkley
Cohen Bramall 60 Matthews  
Michael Williams 0    
Tristian Dunkley 20 Shearer  
Jamie Matthews 30 Bramall
Ashley Sammons 51 Singh
Tony Clarke 0