Hednesford Town 0 Clitheroe 4
Manager Danny Caldecott grafted three new players on to his squad after last weekend’s defeat and the loss of Lee Pugh to injury, and was rewarded with a stellar performance from his new-look side.
At Hednesford’s impressive stadium, Clitheroe looked fully at home despite the long journey, and within three minutes had taken the lead. After excellent interplay between debutants Jack Sloan and Leon Abasalam on the left, Sefton Gonzales was on hand to nod home the perfect centre. Hednesford themselves were on a good run of form under their new manager and were keen to probe the visitors, but Clitheroe were snapping in challenges in key areas, especially the third debutant Ross Davidson, leaving the defence to mop up any stray attacks. On 15 minutes, another great Sloan cross bobbled unfortunately as Danny Wilkins shaped to shoot, before three minutes later Gonzales skimmed a header wide after more great work by Abasalam. Clitheroe were imposing huge pressure on the home side and it was no surprise on 28 minutes when Richie Baker popped a superb corner into the heart of the defence and Gonzales was on hand to stab it home after the home keeper failed to clear. Will Hall was finally called upon to make a great block on 34 minutes, but it was still one way traffic. On 41 minutes, Abasalam chipped a delicious ball over the defence and after a mix up between the keeper and his centre back, Gonzales was on hand to pick up the pieces and to slot home.
The second half followed a broadly similar pattern, with Wilkins and Matty Barlow starting to impose themselves. On 53 minutes, Wilkins had a great 40 yard run and shot, which was well saved, before one minute later Barlow worked his way into the box, but could get no power on his shot. Wilkins then had two superb chances, the first after a lung busting surge from Jacob Hanson, and it seemed only a matter of time before they scored again. On 64 minutes, the home side were awarded a soft penalty totally against the run of play, and a shot against the crossbar was probably just desserts. By now, Gonzales was everywhere, and his outrageous back heel on 76 minutes saw Baker launch a diving header from a Hanson cross, only to see a great save by the home keeper. The fully earned gloss was finally put on the game on 81 minutes after great work between Hanson and substitute Anisio Jesus led to a hanging cross for Gonzales to nod home his header and to pick up his fourth goal.
Team: Burton, Hanson, Sloan, Baker, Rouse, Hall, Arnasalam, Davidson, Gonzales, Wilkins, Barlow (M)
Subs (used) Lancaster, Barlow (K), Jesus
Subs (not used|) Dent, Parny