Clarence rues second-half display but is happy with win

Heanor Town manager, Glen Clarence.
Heanor Town manager, Glen Clarence.
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Heanor Town boss Glen Clarence says he was baffled by his side’s second-half display against Shawbury United on Saturday but that gaining three points from the 3-2 victory was ultimately the most important thing.

Two goals from Elliott Reeves and one from Nathan Benger had the Lions 3-0 up by the break, but the hosts let Shawbury in twice during the second-half to make it a nervy finish to the game.

Heanor held on to climb up to 12th in the table, but Clarence was still left a little alarmed by the second-half performance.

He said: “Being three up at half-time I fully expected us to produce the same in the second-half but it’s hard to explain why we didn’t do that.

“We were good in the first-half - we could have been better and probably should have scored more goals than we did.

“The second-half was the polar opposite and I don’t know what happened.

“But the fact is it’s all about getting three points. We’ve set better standards than that second-half and goodness knows how we’ve ended up hanging on, but it’s a win which is most important.”

Lions coach Steve Hamilton echoed Clarence’s thoughts and felt surprised that Town hadn’t gone on to get more goals.

He said: “Even at 3-0 up we spoke to the players and said there were one or two things we could be doing better. If only football was as easy as just to go out and get another three or four goals just like that.

“There were some indifferent performances all over the field today but we’ve won the game and have to happy with it.

“We thought we might be able to improve our goal difference a bit today, with respect to Shawbury, and we then end up hanging on in the last few minutes.”

Attention now turns to two more league encounters over the next week as Heanor look to profit from having games in hand on several of the clubs above them in the table.

The Lions are 12th on 16 points, 14 behind runaway leaders Westfield having played the same amount of games but within touching distance of all the other teams above them and with up to four games in hand on most.

Saturday sees Heanor travel to AFC Wulfrunians who currently sit third from bottom in the league, before Heanor then host Walsall Wood on Wednesday night at the Town Ground, Walsall being one of the clubs just above Heanor in the table.

With several injuries having plagued Town in recent weeks, the return of the likes of Joe McCormack and Ash Lynch has boosted the Lions squad, something Clarence sees as being crucial moving forward.

He said: “We’ve relied on lots of young players in recent weeks with the injuries we’ve had so it’s important to get some back.

“The kids have come in and done a job and are doing well, and long may it continue.

“We’ll work hard in training on a few of the things that we weren’t happy with against Shawbury and hopefully get smiles on faces and climb the table by winning the games in hand.”