DATE  8.10.2016
COMPETITION   Evo-Stik Premier League
Rushall Olympic  RUSHALL OLYMPIC (0) 2
 Reid (48), Mugisha (88)
Hednesford Town  HEDNESFORD TOWN (1) 1
 Carline (18)
MoTM  Tom Thorley
TOP SCORERS  Singh/Glover/Carline (6)
FORM GUIDE  D  D  W  L  W  D  D  W  L  W  L
1st Buxton 13 29
2nd Rushall Olympic 12 26
3rd Whitby Town 13 24
4th Blyth Spartans 13 23
6th Warrington Town 14 22
7th Spennymoor Town 10 20
8th Ashton United 13 20
9th Mickleover Sports 13 19
10th Marine 12 19
11th Matlock Town 11 18
12th Stourbridge 11 18
Dales Lane has never proved a happy hunting ground for the Pitmen over the years, with today's local derby further adding to this fact as Hednesford once again suffer late heartache against Rushall

Tuesday night's convincing win over Sutton Coldfield Town had put the Pitmen back on the front foot after last weekend's narrow defeat to league leaders Buxton. Calum Flanagan missed out as he served a one match ban for his red card against the Bucks, with Kyle Rowley making only his second start for the club in his place. Otherwise, it was 'as you were' for Liam McDonald's side, with coach Dave Bridgwater named amongst the substitutes to fill in for Michael Williams, who was unavailable

John Allen has overseen an upturn in fortunes at Rushall since taking over from Richard Sneekes in the summer, with the former Hednesford assistant manager chalking up four successive victories to lift the Pics into third place ahead of today's game. Former Pitmen Zak Martin and Marlon Walters were both involved in the Pics squad, alongside former Walsall captain Dean Keates. Former Hednesford triallist Stan Mugisha was also included amongst the Pics substitutes

Kicking down the Dales Lane slope in the first half, the Pitmen made a typically physical start to the game, settling into their neat passing style. Joel Logan was first to get a sight of goal on seven minutes , picking the ball up outside the penalty area and firing high over the crossbar

The hosts responded two minutes later with Jordan Fitzpatrick firing narrowly over Dan Crane's crossbar from twenty yards out

Neat play from Logan created a chance for the in-form George Carline on sixteen minutes, crossing from the right to find the midfielder, who knocked the ball over the crossbar at the far post

A minute later, Lewis Wright had to be alert to divert a Mikael Partodikromo's cross away from goal with Serigne Mor Diop breathing down his neck at the far post

The Pitmen took the lead with the next attack of the game, as a superb cross from Danny Glover, tight to the right touchline, found the head of Carline, who firmly put the ball past veteran Jose Veiga in the Rushall goal

Diop got his angles all wrong on the half hour mark, scuffing a low shot well wide of Crane's goal after outmuscling James Mutton

Crane made a rare foray from his goal line to make a confident punch away on forty minutes, denying Rushall a chance from a left wing corner kick

The Pitmen will have been happy with their first half offering, matching the physicality of Rushall but maintaining passing game, with Tom Thorley once again a standout performer in midfield

However, McDonald's half time team talk was not heeded by his side as Rushall wasted little time in levelling matters early in the second half; a deep cross from Keates was headed back across the face of goal by Diop, allowing the in-form Alex Reid to tap the ball home from close range

The Pitmen were wasteful in possession during the early stages of the second half, failing to find the same rhythm of the first period with a number of lazy passes hat failed to find a red shirt

In an attempt to change the swing of the game, Logan was sacrificed by McDonald in favour of the ball-playing Ashley Sammons on fifty nine minutes

Pics captain Joel Kettle had a great chance to put Rushall in front on the hour mark, heading over the crossbar from a Keates free kick

Sammons looked to test Veiga's reflexes on sixty two minutes, firing in a long range shot that looked destined for the bottom corner until is was deflected wide by a Rushall defender

Another chance fell to Sammons five minutes later, as Carline played the midfielder in behind the Rushall defence. Veiga was alert to the danger and made a good save low down to his left to deny Sammons a clear shot on target

Danny Glover's game came to a close on seventy two minutes, as he was replaced by Tristian Dunkley - a player in real need of minutes after his injury lay-off

A superb deep cross from Cohen Bramall found the head of Carline on seventy three minutes, with the goalscorer heading over the bar as he stretched to reach the deep cross

 Gurjit Singh had been quiet throughout proceedings, well shackled by the Rushall midfield who had stopped him playing his natural, unpredictable game. He got a sight at goal on eighty minutes, picking up a free kick and lifting a shot over the Rushall defence and into the arms of Veiga

Veiga was on the spot once again to deal with a Sammons free kick two minutes later, comfortable handing the substitute's free kick from twenty five yards out

The game was decided as a contest with two minutes remaining, as Crane was guilty of a heinous error of judgment as he looked to clear his lines; chasing down a loose ball, he hesitated slightly and allowed substitute Mugisha to beat him to the ball, with the winger lifting a shot over Crane and into the empty net from out wide on the right, with Mutton unable to keep the shot out of the net

Jamie Matthews came on in place of Simeon Maye, but the damage was done for the Pitmen who fall to another narrow defeat that drops them down to fifth in the table. Rushall's fifth successive win lifts them up to second place, leaving Hednesford with the same scenario as last week - needing a 'pick-me-up' from an midweek game to get themselves back on track - Corby Town provide the opposition at Keys Park on Monday night
Kyle Rowley in action  Gurjit Singh - a quiet game for the forward  Danny Glover plays the ball forwards  Goal! George Carline receives the plaudits
No. Player Mins On On/Off For Goals
Dan Crane 90  
Lewis Wright 90    
Cohen Bramall 90
Simeon Maye 88 Matthews  
James Mutton 90    
Kyle Rowley 90    
Joel Logan 59 Sammons  
Tom Thorley 90    
Danny Glover 72 Dunkley  
Gurjit Singh 90    
George Carline 90   1
Lloyd Ransome 0    
Dave Bridgwater 0    
Ashley Sammons 31 Logan  
Jamie Matthews 2 Maye  
Tristian Dunkley 18 Glover