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1st Team - Match centre

Witton Albion
Hednesford Town
A Gardner (9')
Full time
Sat 27 Apr 15:00 - The Evo-Stik League - Premier Division Attendance 362

Albion again denied by late goal


Both teams perform well in dreadful conditions

by Paul Harper

Witton Albion picked up a point in the final Evo-Stik Northern Premier League fixture of the season with a 1-1 draw against Hednesford Town at a wet and very windy Wincham Park.

Carl Macauley made three changes to the side which began against Warrington Town on Easter Monday. Cesaire Lingouba, Matty Devine and Osebi Abadaki dropped down to the substitutes bench to be replaced by Anthony Gardner, James Foley and Will Jones.

With the wind at their backs in the first half, Witton used it to their advantage in the early stages. Anthony Gardner almost caught out Hednesford goalkeeper Jacob Weaver after three minutes with a cross which almost blew into the top corner of his net.

The visiting number one scrambled back to deny him on that occasion but was unable to prevent Gardner opening the scoring in similar circumstances on nine minutes as his left wing cross flew into the top corner with a little assistance from the breeze.

Albion pressed for further goals, with James Foley denied with a good block as he struck a powerful shot towards goal, while a dangerous looking cross by Rob Hopley caught a gust and landed on the roof of the net.

The visitors came back into the game as the half drew to its close. Bradley Wells had a couple of efforts narrowly off target before Greg Hall was called into action for the first time just before half time to save a shot from Nathan Fox.

Will Jones spurned a good chance to double Albion’s lead a minute before half time, receiving the ball after Foley had done well to win the ball in the penalty area, the striker somehow missed the target from 12 yards.

Wells had another effort wide of the target at the beginning of the second half for Hednesford as they came out looking for an equaliser.

It should though have been 2-0 to the hosts midway through the second period when Hopley picked up the pieces after Weaver spilled a cross. The Albion captain took the ball around the stranded shot-stopper and tried to chip a back-tracking defender only to place his effort just over the top.

Shortly after, Albion had an effort cleared off the line from a left wing corner, Hednesford defender Ben O’Hanlon in the right place at the right time to clear the ball away to deny Witton a second.

But the visitors kept pressing themselves and finally got an equaliser with two minutes remaining, a right wing cross headed home by Kieran Wells from just inside the penalty area.

A point apiece was probably a fair outcome, both sides using the strong wind to their advantage. The result means Witton finish the campaign in ninth position but can take great momentum into next season after a strong finish to 2018-19.

Witton Albion: Hall; Gardner, McKenna, Wardle, Offord, Smart, Doyle, Owens, Hopley ©, Jones, Foley. Subs not used: Lingouba, Abadaki, Neild & Devine. Booked Gardner (foul)

Hednesford Town: Weaver; Vidal, O’Hanlon (Lycett 85’), Harvey, Gatter, Bailey ©, B Wells (Wright 67’), King, K Wells, Hallahan (Curley 75’), Fox. Subs not used: Veiga & Turner. Booked: Vidal (foul)

Referee: Christopher Porter Attendance: 362

Billy Smart

Player of the Match

Billy Smart

Key moments

Goal Anthony Gardner scores for Witton Albion


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90:00 +3:00 Player of the Match
Billy Smart is awarded player of the match for Witton Albion
71:00 Yellow Card
Anthony Gardner is yellow carded for Witton Albion
End of period 1
9:00 Goal 1 - 0
Anthony Gardner scores for Witton Albion
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Witton Albion
  • Hednesford Town
  • 0
  • Anthony Gardner Goal 9:00'
  • Anthony Gardner Yellow Card 71:00'

Team selection

Hall, Greg Hall, Greg
Gardner, Anthony Gardner, Anthony
McKenna, Danny McKenna, Danny
Foley, James Foley, James
Wardle, Josh Wardle, Josh
Offord, Luke Offord, Luke
Owens, Tom Owens, Tom
Doyle, Lewis Doyle, Lewis
Jones, Will Jones, Will
Hopley, Rob Hopley, Rob
Smart, Billy Smart, Billy

League round up

Other Premier Division results

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Nantwich Town
Warrington Town
South Shields
Whitby Town
Scarborough Athletic
Stafford Rangers
Stalybridge Celtic


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
7. Basford United 40 61
8. Scarborough Athletic 40 61
9. Witton Albion 40 58
10. Hyde United 40 53
11. Whitby Town 40 49
12. Lancaster City 40 49
13. Hednesford Town 40 48

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