Keenen Meakin-Richards asked to step up as Hednesford ponder next move

Keenen Meakin-Richards will be calling the shots from the sidelines tomorrow when Hednesford host Stratford in the Southern Central Premier.

Youth academy manager Meakin-Richards steps up to first-team duty following the club’s decision to part company with Andy Morrell on Wednesday.

He has been appointed on an interim basis while the Pitmen weigh up their options. He will be assisted by striker Danny Glover and former Stafford Rangers boss Alex Meechan.

Meakin-Richards came through the youth team ranks at Keys Park before making a dozen appearances for the first team during the 2007/8 season.

He then went on to have playing spells with Walsall Wood, Sporting Khalsa, Boldmere St Michaels, Bromsgrove Sporting, Halesowen Town and Coleshill Town before returning to Keys Park to take charge of the academy last year.

Ex-Wrexham and Tamworth boss Morrell paid the price for a poor start to the season. The Pitmen have just picked up just one point from four league games and lost 3-0 to Coalville in midweek. They also exited the FA Cup at the hands of Halesowen last weekend.

Rushall Olympic chief Liam McDonald ‘couldn’t be more proud’ of his side as they look to make it five unbeaten in the Southern Central Premier.

The Pics miraculously came back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with McDonald’s old club Redditch on Tuesday, making it two wins and two draws so far.

Their next test sees them face one of the favourites for the title, Coalville – whose 3-0 win over Hednesford last time out was swiftly followed by the departure of Morrell as Pitmen boss.

And McDonald, who has had several players out injured, said: “We’ve been playing well. We’ve got a lot of injuries but we are soldering our way through – the lads have been putting in a great shift.

“I couldn’t be more proud over how they’ve applied themselves, to be honest.

“We’ve talked a lot about team spirit and how it could get us a lot of points this season, that togetherness and fight.

“You’ve seen it already, too, as we scored a late winner against Leiston, came back to beat Bromsgrove 4-3 and came back to draw 3-3 against Redditch.

“It’s not great for the heart, but this squad has a lot of ways to win a game.

“We are expansive so sometimes we concede goals, but we can outscore teams as we’re good from set plays.

“We’re hoping to have Tyler Lyttle and Desean Martin back soon and hopefully we can turn some of these 4-3 wins or 3-3 draws into 1-0 victories now.”

On welcoming Coalville to Dales Lane, McDonald added: “Coalville are a good side, one of the favourites for the league, so we’ll have to give it our all.

“If we have that little bit of luck, though, and the lads perform to our maximum, it could be the difference between a point or three.”

Stourbridge – level on points with Rushall having played one more game – travel to Royston, while Halesowen will look to maintain their unbeaten start to the Southern Central One campaign when they visit Corby.

In the Northern Premier, Stafford Rangers have signed both Liam Langford and Ryan Nesbitt ahead of facing Hyde United. Defender Langford joins from Llandudno and striker Nesbitt from Solihull Moors. Chasetown, in the league’s South East Division, are on their travels to Spalding United.

Kidderminster Harriers, after kicking off the new National League North season with a 2-1 loss to Chester, are making the long trip up to Darlington.

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