Remembering where we once were.
Rovers first played Staffordshire outfit Hednesford Town in December ’98 where the sides cancelled each other out at Keys Park as Mark Hume’s first half opener was equalised by Andy Comyn.
Ian Snodin’s men lost when the sides reconvened at Belle Vue later on in the season in front of over 3,500 spectators – Ged Kimmins scoring the only goal of the game for the visitors just after the half hour mark.
Rovers avenged that defeat just five months later, however, when Snodin’s side ran out 2-1 winners after early strikes from Kevin McIntyre (1) and Dave Penney (10) saw off the visitors, who could not add to Kimmins’ reply.
Penney scored again in the return, however The Pitmen scored either side of his goal through Neil Davis and Gary Twynham efforts to reverse the scores.
Town, without tenacious midfielder Jimmy Kelly – who had joined Rovers –, were to fall dramatically by the wayside the following year and ended up relegated bottom of the pile, some 17 points off safety.
Rovers did their bit to rub salt in the wounds and scored seven goals over the two encounters to ease to six points.
A Jamie Paterson double and a goal from Neil Campbell ensured Rovers ran out 3-1 winners at Belle Vue with a goal from Neil Davis doing little for the ten man visitors who had had former Rover Mickey Norbury sent off late on.
Norbury scored in an entertaining six-goal encountered when Rovers visited Staffordshire in the Spring of 2001, but not before Matty Caudwell and Dean Barrick had put Rovers in charge. Town equalised through Paul Bagshaw’s 65th minute goal before a late flurry from Caudwell and Campbell settled the game in the South Yorkshiremen’s favour.
Town won the FA trophy in 2004 but their success has been limited and they continue to float between the six and seventh tiers of English football.
Due to their central location, Hednesford have been promoted and relegated to and from the Northern and Southern Premier Leagues within the last decade.
At present, they are in the Conference North having lost in the play-off semi-finals to Conference-bound Altrincham.
*Rovers players celebrate Dave Penney’s goal in the 2-1 win over Hednesford Town at Belle Vue on 14th September 1999 in front of 3,021 fans*