Hednesford Town

The club was formed in 1880 by the merger of two leading Hednesford clubs, the Red & Whites and Hill Top, and after many years in local competitions joined the Southern League in 1984.

2010–11 season

The middle of 2010 saw a complete change in the playing department with both of the lethal strikeforce that turned the previous season moving on to higher levels. Macclesfield Town snapped up Tyrone Barnett while Ross Dyer signed for Forest Green Rovers, joining up with another ex-Pitman in Reece Styche.

After a mixed start to the 2010–11 season that found the Pitmen again having much greater away form than at home, on Sunday 19 September 2010 the club announced it had “parted company” with manager Bernard McNally and a successor was being sought. That replacement would turn out to be Rob Smith and he was announced as manager of the club on Monday 27 September 2010 with Larry Chambers as his assistant, the duo having previously earned league promotion success with AFC Telford United.

This appointment triggered an upturn in the team’s on field success with the Pitmen forcing themselves into the promotion race with a run of form breaking a number of club records including:

  • A goalscoring run of 32 league games (5 October 2010 to 2 May 2011)[1]
  • A winning run of 9 (19 February 2011 to 26 March 2011)[2]
  • Highest ever league victory with a 9–0 home win over Weymouth[3](23 October 2010).

The post-Christmas league form continued in the cup competitions with the club winning the Southern League Cup beating Hemel Hempstead Town over 2 legs, 5–1 on aggregate. The team followed up the cup success by qualifying for the playoffs after finishing the league season in 2nd position behind champions Truro City. This gave the Pitmen home advantage in the semi-final against Leamington, a game they won 3–1 to progress to the playoff final (again at Keys Park) against 3rd-place finishers Salisbury City. However, the season was to end with heartbreak for the Pitmen, after a 1–1 draw in the 90 mins and Danny Quinn putting them back into the lead, Salisbury equalised with the last kick of extra time before winning the game on penalties.

2011–12 season

Hednesford were transferred to the Northern Premier League Premier Division for this season, seeing a number of local derbies return to the fixture list. A consistent start to campaign saw the Pitmen sitting in the top four for the majority of the season, with a number of memorable game to look back on: a 5–4 win over local rivals Stafford Rangers, a remarkable 6–5 win over a strong Walsall side and a 2–1 win at league leaders Chester.

The Pitmen’s strong home form deserted them from December however, failing to win again at home for the remainder of the season. Hednesford finished the league in 5th position, but nominally in 4th due to Northwich Victoria’s expulsion from both the playoffs and league itself. Hednesford were beaten at Bradford Park Avenue 5–0 in the playoff semi-final on 28 April.

2012–13 season

Hednesford were promoted from the Northern Premier League to the Conference North during the 2012–2013. During this season they also won the Staffordshire Senior Cup and the Birmingham Senior Cup. The summer of 2012 saw a rebuild at Keys Park, with a number of the squad that had been together for the previous two campaigns being moved on. Linchpins in Chey Dunkley and Chris Clements saw their talents rewarded with moves up to the top-tier of non-league football (Kidderminster Harriers and Mansfield Town respectively). This triggered a near complete overhaul of the playing squad with 5 players that ended the 2011–12 season remaining at the club at the start of the new campaign.

Despite this the Pitmen started the season brightly, with an 8-game unbeaten run that was ultimately ended in some style in a 4–0 defeat to Worksop Town at Keys Park.

The Pitmen eventually had to settle for a second-placed finish and playoff berth, narrowly missing out on automatic promotion on goal difference to North Ferriby Utd. In the semi-final of the playoffs, they were drawn against AFC Fylde, a team they beat 2–1 on the final day of the regular season. After 6 goals and 120 minutes, the game went to penalties, with Hednesford prevailing 3–1. In the final, they faced F.C. United of Manchester, a team that were playing in their 3rd successive playoff final and are rivals of the Pitmen. Hednesford were victorious 2–1, in front of a record crowd of 4,412 at Keys Park, ensuring that the Pitmen will play their football in the Conference North in 2013–14.

2013–14 season

Hednesford finished fourth in the conference north and qualified for the play-offs where they faced Altrincham fc in a 2 legged semi-final. The first leg at Keys park finished 2–2 but Hednesford lost the second leg 2–1 away. Hednesford also reach the FA Cup 1st round proper where they were beaten 2–1 by league one side Crawley Town at Keys park.

2014-15 season

On 3rd March 2015 Hednesford beat AFC Fylde 2-0 at Keys park and looked likely to finish in a play-off position. However just 2 points from the final eight games saw the pitmen finish the season in a disappointing 8th place.

2015-16 season

Hednesford suffered a set back early on in the season when manager Rob Smith and his assistant Larry Chambers left the club to return to AFC Telford United. Chris Brindley took temporary charge until the club appointed former manager Bernard McNally. However McNally’s second spell at the club was short lived and he was later sacked after just one league victory. The next manager to be appointed was former Chelsea and Leicester player Frank Sinclair. After a 3-0 defeat at Stockport County in early March Sinclair offered his resignation which was accepted by the club only for him to be reinstated as manager two days later. Sinclair left club again in April after a 1-0 home defeat to Worcester and relegation looking inevitable. Despite a 2-1 away win at league champions Solihull Moors relegation was confirmed with 2 games remaining.

2016-17 season

Hednesford will play in the Evo-Stick Northern League Premier Division in the 2016-2017 season. Liam McDonald was announced as the club’s new manager on 9 May 2016, having left Redditch United FC.

Credit: Wikipedia.com

BetVictor NPL Premier Division
2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19
Keys Park