Heanor Town disappointed not to beat leaders Alvechurch

Heanor Town manager Glen Clarence.

Heanor Town manager Glen Clarence.

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Heanor Town’s management team saluted their players after the Lions again came close to toppling the Midlands League Premier Division leaders.

Two second-half goals rescued a point for Alvechurch as the home side were left disappointed they had not converted a two-goal half-time lead into victory.

On the opening day of the season Heanor, who moved up to fifth, had dominated a draw at Alvechurch.

Heanor manager Glenn Clarence, whose side stretched their unbeaten run to five matches, said: “Every single player who wore the shirt was superb and gave everything.

“That’s a game we should have won and we are disappointed to have drawn the game. We were positive playing against a team that is top of the league.

“Their keeper was named man-of-the-match — and rightly so. We have had three or four one-on-ones that we should have put away.

“We dominated them in the first half. If you are disappointed not to beat the top of league and their keeper has got man of the match, then there are more positives than negatives overall.”

Alvechurch admitted in a Twitter post they had “got out of jail twice” against Heanor.

The Lions took an early lead through Chris Smith, who headed in a Kieran Debrouwer corner.

Debrouwer then saw a shot deflected wide before curling in a superb second as the home side dominated the first half.

However, they failed to convert several chances to secure victory. Stuart Ellis, Jay Cooper, Michael Reeve and Debrouwer all might have made it 3-0 and Adrian Whitmore’s header was saved.

Alvechurch punished Heanor for those missed opportunities when they struck twice in the second half, the equaliser coming from a penalty, to snatch a point.

Lions assistant manager Steve Hamilton said: “We, including the players, are all disappointed, but you have to respect what the opposition has done.

“Had we been a little more clinical in front of goal we would have won comfortably. We probably had four one-on-one. Our strikers were on target, but the keeper has made good saves.

“There is no criticism of the players. Everyone put in a good shift.”

Assistant manager Steve Huntington revealed the Heanor players had been set a few targets over the next five matches.

“Today was that first game,” he said. “They will be tough games and we have just got to crack on now and continue to do what we are doing.

“This club has never finished higher in the pyramid than it has done over the last two years — and might finish higher this season, which would be progress. But this is a very good league with very good clubs.”

Heanor travel to bottom-of-the-table Brocton on Saturday, where they shared 10 goals last season.

Clarence said: “Anyone can beat anyone in this league, but if we play like we did against Alvechurch we will beat Brocton. We have got to be positive.”