Heanor Town beaten as Shaw Lane Aquaforce strengthen grip on NCEL title

Nathan Benger went close to scoring during Heanor Town's defeat at Shaw Lane. ''Photo by Paul Morley
Nathan Benger went close to scoring during Heanor Town's defeat at Shaw Lane. ''Photo by Paul Morley

Heanor Town were beaten 1-0 as title-chasing Shaw Lane Aquaforce strengthened their grip at the top.

The large crowd, a product of the NCEL Groundhop weekend, saw Heanor fight hard to earn a share of the spoils, but they were ultimately heartbroken by a 38th minute free kick.

The Lions started with a four man midfield, something that isn’t seen regularly with Heanor.

The first 20 minutes belonged to Heanor and Nathan Benger headed over in just the third minute, before Jay Cooper crashed an effort against the crossbar on 13 minutes with former Heanor ‘keeper Ian Deakin well beat.

Jason Fisher, making his debut in the heanor goal, impressed on 31 minutes when he saved a well hit shot from Danny Frost.

Just a minute later the ball found Nathan Benger 15 yards from goal, but he failed to connect fully as the shot didn’t trouble Deakin.

Frost very nearly opened the scoring for Shaw Lane on 36 minutes when his effort was well saved by Fisher and the follow up strike cleared off the line by Greg Marriott.

But there was nothing he could do when Sam Denton struck a free-kick hard and low under the wall and into the goal on 36 minutes.

It was a free-kick that had left Heanor Town angry at the match referee.

The second half began with both sides struggling to get into the same rhythm as the first half had ended with.

Fisher again proved worthy of his position as the new Heanor Town FC goalkeeper with a strong one on one save from Frost on the hour mark.

The talking point of the game came on 67 minutes when Jay Cooper’s strike was charged down, with Heanor Town fans and players believing they should have had a penalty.

Benger nearly added to his list of spectacular strikes when he hit a powerful strike just wide of the post and crossbar after he spotted Deakin yards off his line.

Three minutes later it was midfielder Nick Hall who really should have hit the back of the net when he fired inches wide.

Heanor: Fisher, Marriott, Shaw, S Gregory (Naylor 88 mins), J Gregory (Strzyzewski 56 mins), Hawes, Cooper, Hall, Benger, Debrouwer, Bowler (Booth 56 mins)

Not used: Andrews, Baker.

Attendance: 344.

Star Lion: Ady Hawes.