Heanor go marching on at the top of the table

East Midlands

Counties League

Premier Division

Holwell Sports 1

Heanor Town 3

TWO first half goals from Ryan Cancellara turned Holwell’s shock lead in Heanor’s favour and Jake Vernon added a late third to ensure the Lions ninth away win of the season was another comfortable victory.

After dominating the opening exchanges Heanor found themselves a goal down after just four minutes when their hosts broke away and scored in their first attack with JAMIE KIRKBY lashing the ball home with a powerful shot after Lee Stevenson failed to clear a through ball.

Nathan Benger, again skippering the Lions, headed over a Jason Foster corner before RYAN CANCELLARA restored parity with a splendid low shot from the edge of the penalty area from Stef Frost’s run and pass.

Heanor once again played some delightful football and another excellent move saw Stef Frost fire over the bar from Benger’s pass, followed by Josh Royce leaving Andy Teare for dead but shooting straight at Richard Cragg.

An ambitious shot from Ben Smedley from out on the right was soundly smothered by Mark Frost as Holwell began to show more spirit. But this only served to bolster Heanor and Benger’s overhead volley from Gary Webster’s cross was ruled out by an off-side flag.

Webster caused problems again for Holwell and Cragg had to save Benger’s header from his cross, and then when Lee Stevenson crossed from the right the ball beat everyone in front of goal and headed towards the corner of the net until Cragg managed to claw it round the post at the last minute.

Cancellara shot over after another grand Heanor move and the Lions were well on top, but it could all have gone pear shaped had Smedley’s first time shot from another rapid break not gone wide off the outside of an upright.

Encouraged by his first shot and demanded by the huge Heanor following to try again RYAN CANCELLARA gave the Lions the lead on 33 minutes from 20 yards into the bottom corner off the inside of an upright after a splendid move which saw Nico Degirolamo bring the ball out of defence and Cancellara race forward and exchange passes with Benger before rapping the ball home.

Holwell made a more spirited start to the second half responding to the demands of their wellington-clad manager who appeared more than unhappy with their first half efforts.

But it was Heanor who were soon calling the shots and playing the tune.

Cragg made a great save from a Josh Royce shot destined for the top corner eight minutes after the break after Benger’s pass had provided the chance. i

Then Benger was played clear by another magnificent Gary Webster pass but shot wide with Royce unmarked in the centre of goal.

Once again Holwell proved their ability to break and deliver when Michael Stevenson hammered in a fine shot on the hour which Mark Frost saved superbly.

From one Stevenson to another as Cragg was forced into another good save at the other end by Heanor’s Lee, and this was followed by an outstanding save from Benger’s shot to push the ball round the post one handed.

tef Frost had a shot cleared off the line when Cragg was beaten on 71 minutes, but Heanor had learned well by now that anything in the air the keeper was equal to, but on the floor he was suspect.

And so it proved when Benger and Stef Frost combined to send JAKE VERNON clear with ten minutes left and the substitute beat Cragg with a neat low shot into the bottom corner to ensure all three points would return to the Town Ground.

There was still time for Cragg to make saves from Danny Claridge and Jake Vernon before time was called on a game where the figure three was prominent – three goals for Heanor, three points for Heanor, their third double of the season and the third time they had beaten Holwell this season.

Match stats

Holwell Sports: Richard Cragg, Andy Teare, Dominic Hallows, Anthony Snelgrove, Ian Bitmead, Chris Hibbit, Ben Smedley, Michael Stevenson, Jamie Kirkby, Freddie Daws (Alex Brown 72), Gary Drake (Stan Wallis 58). Substitutes not used – Stuart Rose, David Hazeldine.

Heanor Town: Mark Frost, Jason Foster, Phil Austin, Lee Stevenson, Adam Kay, Nico Degirolamo, Gary Webster, Ryan Cancellara, Nathan Benger (Danny Claridge 82), Josh Royce (Jake Vernon 72), Stef Frost. Substitutes not used – Brett Peel, Graham Wells, Matt Foster.

Referee: Mark Tinsley (Nottingham)

Attendance: 88

Yellow card: Ryan Cancellara (Heanor Town) 88 minutes

Goals: Holwell – Jamie Kirkby 4 minutes: Heanor – Ryan Cancellara 7 and 33 minutes, Jake Vernon 80 minutes.

Star Lion: Ryan Cancellara

Next in action

Saturday January 7

East Midlands Counties League - Heanor Town v Radford (3pm)

Central Midlands League, Reserve Supreme Division - Clipstone Welfare Reserves v Heanor Town Reserves (3pm).

Wednesday January - Central Midlands League - Heanor Town Reserves v South Normanton Athletic Reserves, 7.45pm.