Dronfield Town Reserves’ slender hopes of winning the title evaporated at the Town Ground on Saturday against a Heanor Town Reserves side which, due to injuries, unavailability and first team calls, included only four regulars, the rest being made up from the under 19sm, writes Stan Wilton.
Sean Pickworth made a fine save from Chris Savage after four minutes, and his counterpart Tom Stannard producing one of similar quality at the other end three minutes later.
Heanor went ahead on ten minutes when man-of-the-match Jak Lightly left defenders trailing in his wake to tee up Callum Hood.
Dronfield had no answer to Heanor’s pace and determination and the young Lions doubled their lead through the same combination on 29 minutes, Lightly again the supplier and Hood, injuring himself in the process, converting.
Stannard was fortunate to only see yellow on 49 minutes having raced from his goal to thwart Jack Smith.
Dronfield had their best spell of the game after this but Heanor’s defence worked hard to limit their chances, but when they did break through they found Pickworth in outstanding form in goal to save from Johnny Pugh and Charles Bradwell twice.
Lightly’s previous two supply routes had been from the left, but when he took a beautiful 72nd minute corner from the right Andreas Kokkinou headed Heanor’s third and Dronfield’s title challenge was over.
The visitors showed an ugly side towards the end when Sam Bebbington received the yellow card he might have had earlier, substitute James Savage saw yellow on 86 minutes and Josh Batterham red for an over the top challenge.