Heanor Town go top of Midland Premier despite ‘forgettable’ draw with Walsall Wood

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In a largely forgettable encounter against West Mdlands opposition, Heanor took a point to move to the summit of The Midland Football League Premier Division.

The Lions were held to a 2-2 draw by Walsall Wood, but went hunting for a goal from the off, chances coming for Cooper and Benger within the first 10 minutes.

It was Wood who took the lead however, with their first attack.

In the 17th minute a cross from the right wasn’t dealt with by the Heanor defence as Dan Griffiths first hit a strike against the underside of the bar before reacting quickest to nod home.

Andre Johnson, scorer of a brace against Continental Star in mid-week, got on to the end of a sweet move involving Benger and Naylor to put the ball out the reach of Lee Evans in the Wood net, levelling the score on 20 minutes.

With The Lions looking to take control on home turf it took until the second minute of stoppage time to eventually take the lead.

Danny Claridge, who replaced Mark Smith on the half hour, rose highest to meet a Jay Cooper cross to plant a bullet header past Evans.

The second period was as disjointed as the first, with no real chances of note for Heanor.

It was Wood that looked hungrier and showed more desire to get the points.

The scores were levelled on 75 minutes, Griffiths finding space in the penalty area and unleashing a low strike across Whittingham into the far corner of the net.

The Heanor front line had struggled to make the ball stick to enable them to go on the attack, giving Walsall Wood a way back in to the game.

Kieran Debrouwer, dropped to the bench due to injury, had to make an appearance to try and rescue to win.

Replacing the injured Jay Cooper on s78 minutes, the lively front man wasn’t able to inspire his team to get maximum points.

Heanor Town will host Westfields on Saturday, before Tuesday night’s visit to Dunkirk in the Polymac Packaging League Cup.

Heanor: Whittingham, Marriott, Shaw, Booth, Hall ©, Edridge, Smith (Claridge 32), Naylor, Benger, Johnson, Cooper (Debrouwer 78).

Subs: Brown, Seale, Hannis.

Attendance: 157.

Referee: Michele Gallo.

Man of the Match: Nick Hall.