In-form Pitmen and Pics favourites to reach next round

Hednesford Town and Rushall Olympic will look to carry their table-topping form through tomorrow’s FA Cup second qualifying round.

Gary Hayward
Gary Hayward

The table-topping Pitmen lead the second-placed Pics by a point at the summit of Southern Central Premier – and both have home games in the Cup.

Hednesford host mid-table league rivals Barwell, while Rushall face a Gainsborough Trinity side struggling in the Northern Premier – the same level as Olympic. And it was a draw Pitmen boss Gary Hayward predicted.

“Barwell’s manager (Guy Hadland) is my mate and I rang him 10 minutes before the draw and told him we were going to draw each other,” said Hayward. “I didn’t really want Barwell because he is my mate, but it is what it is.

“It’s going to be a tough game, but I will do my homework, set my lads up, and hopefully with a bit of hard work we can get the result.

“A Cup run would be lovely, but we need to get through this one before we look any further.”

On Hednesford’s league form, which took them to the summit on Tuesday, Hayward added: “It’s the first time we’ve been top for five years I’ve been informed – and we’ve played the majority of the top six so we are doing well, but we won’t take anything for granted.”

On the Pics’ tie with Trinity, boss Liam McDonald added: “We have worked hard in preparation.

“We’ve had Gainsborough Trinity watched and they will be strong and physical, but they also try to play a bit.

“They have some players who have experience at higher levels, so it’s going to be a tough assignment for us.

“That said, it’s the FA Cup and we will go out there determined to get this club into the next round.”

Stourbridge, who have also started well in Southern Central Premier, travel to a Coalville Town outfit who are one place better off than them in the division.

Meanwhile, Southern Central One side Halesowen Town will look to upset Premier Division Stratford Town at The Grove and Chasetown face a two-division gap to National North hosts Leamington.

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