Heanor Town 2
Gedling MW 0
HEANOR Town completed a comfortable double over battling Gedling but had to overcome a strong swirling wind and the visitors massed and stubborn defending.
The Lions were without injured skipper Brett Peel and the classy Josh Royce who was working. Peel’s absence left Mark Frost and Nico Degirolamo as the only two ever-presents.
Nathan Benger took over as captain and was influential in most of the Lions attacks. But they found Gedling prepared to defend with ten men and their packed penalty area was difficult to penetrate.
The visitors were prepared to attack on the break, mostly through Kieran Wells, but for much of the time the home defence was under little pressure.
A 13th minute shot from Kieran Wells was deflected behind by Adam Kay, making only his second start of the season.
Heanor’s best moments fell to Jake Vernon who failed with three headers. The first from Gary Webster’s excellent 20th minute cross he put tamely straight at Majuk from a good position. He then forced Majuk into a fine tip over from Stef Frost’s shot and finally headed over a difficult chance from Phil Austin’s 36th minute free kick.
Heanor finally took the lead six minutes before the greak when skipper NATHAN BENGER was on hand at the far post to head home another splendid Gary Webster cross.
Kieran Wells burst down the left at the other end but lifted his shot over the bar as the visitors tried to get on terms by the break.
The second half was one-way traffic and only Gedling’s over worked defence will know how they survived a landslide of shots and goalmouth incidents.
There was an immediate second half goal line clearance from Stef Frost’s cross followed by Webster shooting over and Benger setting up Vernon from a Debrouwer cross.
Stef Frost’s shot was deflected wide when Benger chested down another cross and Majuk tipped over Debrouwer’s shot from a delightful Webster chip forward.
Heanor won corner after corner but couldn’t find that illusive second goal.
Benger’s shot on the turn came back off the face of the bar on 59 minutes; a deflected Vernon shot came back off the foot of an upright two minutes later; Nico Degirolamo’s header hit the bar before going over; Majuk blocked Debrouwer’s shot and George Bradley cleared the ball off the line; then Benger saw another header come back off the bar with Vernon’s follow up being scrambled off the line.
Gedling’s massed defence was having a charmed life until JASON FOSTER created the surprise by scoring at the near post direct from a corner on 72 minutes to ensure the points safely stayed at Heanor.
Majuk deflected another Benger shot for a fruitless corner before the Heanor skipper made himself room in the box to turn and clip a shot inches wide.
A third goal looked on the cards when Webster burst through onto Benger’s pass but the ball beat Majuk and rolled wide of the far post
The woodwork came to Gedling’s rescue again when Adam Kay crashed a full blooded header against the bar, but with two minutes left Luke Stanley was guilty of missing the visitors only chance of the game when, from in front of goal, he failed to put the finishing touches to Keiran Wells’ splendid cross.
HEANOR TOWN: Mark Frost, Jason Foster, Phil Austin (Danny Claridge 86), Lee Stevenson (Ryan Cancellara 81), Adam Kay, Nico Degirolamo, Gary Webster, Kieran Debrouwer, Nathan Benger, Jake Vernon (Graham Wells 76), Stef Frost.
Substitutes not used: Julian Capuano, Matt Foster.
GEDLING MINERS WELFARE: Carl Majuk, Liam Corrigan, Ben Griffiths, Simon Labatte, George Beardsley, Lewis Capewell, Chris Muldoon, Luke Stanley, Kieran Wells, Anthony Bedward (Danny Pass 85), Reece Campbell (Richard Saxton 70).
Substitutes not used: Rhys Watkinson, Chris Peet, Lee Soar.
REFEREE: Tim Walker (Belper)
STAR LION: Nathan Benger
Next in action
Monday January 2
East Midlands Counties League - Holwell Sports v HEANOR TOWN, 3pm.