Easter games are key to league title

It IS getting really tasty at the top of the East Midlands Counties League table following Borrowash Victoria’s surprise defeat last Saturday.

With just four games to go, and three of them at home, Heanor Town can win the title if they can obtain maximum points.

Ironically, it is Blaby & Whetstone Athletic, the conquerers of Borrowash Victoria last week, who are the visitors to the Town Ground on Saturday (3pm) for a must win game for the Lions.

There has been more than a passing interest taken in Heanor Town’s results recently by the town’s people and it would be good if they were to come along to the club’s last three home games and lend their support as well.

The facilities are good, there are seats and plenty of covered accommodation, so what better way to start Easter than with a visit to the Town Ground?

A win from this game would set up the Easter Monday clash with fellow title aspirants Borrowash Victoria at the Town Ground (3pm).

If things go according to plan it is likely that this game will be the title decider in more ways than one.

But having said that, it is a tough Easter programme for the team and one which they will do well to come through unscathed.

The Lions will, however, go into their Easter programme on the back of a nine game league unbeaten run during which time they have won eight of these games. It is a record which could see them win the Team of the month title for March, having already won it for two months this season so far.

Last Saturday’s 5-1 win at Anstey was ample revenge for the 3-2 defeat the Lions suffered at home to their Leicestershire rivals at the end of November, and the first of these goals, scored by Gary Webster, was the team’s 50th away league goal of the season and taking their league total to 108 in just 32 goals.

Title or no title, the Lions have proved themselves the most attractive team in the league to watch this season, both home and away.

Nathan Benger has been responsible for 34 of these goals. His second goal at Anstey last Saturday took him into the East Midland Counties League record books as the League’s all-time leading goalscorer.

In 2008/9, the first year of the East Midland Counties League competition, Holwell Sports’ Scott Mooney took the Golden Boot award with 24 goals. A year later in was the turn of Barrow Town’s Stu Wilson with 32. Last year Thurnby Nirvana’s Jordan Smith went one better with 33, and this season, still with four games left to play, Benger has surpassed them all with 34 so far, twelve ahead of his nearest challenger, Barrow Town’s Chris Adams. It’s a figure that is unlikely to be caught.

And so going into what is Heanor Town’s biggest and most exciting Easter for as long as many of their supporters can remember, there is much to look forward to at the Town Ground and, hopefully, record gates to go with it.