Heanor Town title dreams in tatters after Staveley MW defeat

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Heanor Town’s title hopes appear all but over after they were beaten by Staveley to lose for the fourth time in five games.

But the Lions had only themselves to blame as two catastrophic defensive errors in the last 11 minutes cost them dearly as they slipped to a 3-2 loss.

The Lions went into the game with the best defensive record in the League having kept eight clean sheets.

Staveley won a number of early corners but Heanor defended stoutly and hit nback with some decisive attacks of their own.

The Lions began to get a stronghold on the game and went ahead after 17 minutes. Courey Grantham set Gary Ricketts clear down the right and his low cross was only half cleared to Matt Richards, who shot home from 12 yards for his first goal for the club.

Staveley hit back immediately and a combination of Danny Booth and Ian Deakin kept the ball out following a corner.

Staveley levelled when Jahmal Smith broke the offside trap and beat Deakin.

But within a minute the balance of the game changed as Sam Jones sent Courey Grantham away to the right of the penalty area for the Ilkeston loanee to hammer in an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net to regain the lead for Heanor.

Richards had a shot cleared for a corner by home skipper Steve Hernandez, and then Heanor wasted the first of a number of free-kicks from around the edge of the penalty area after Ricketts was felled.

Deakin took a header from substitute Ellis Wall from under the bar at the start of the second half, before the Lions broke three on two but Debrouwer wasted the crossing opportunity.

There was much at stake and the game became scrappy with goalmouth action at a premium. In fact, the nearest we came to a goal in the second half was when Kurtis Morley raced in and hit a free ball over the bar.

Sam Jones headed wide following a free-kick for the Lions at one end and Jack Poulton put a free-kick wide at the other with Deakin rooted to his line. Deakin though was at fault with 11 minutes remaining when he raced un-necessarily from his goal towards the corner flag to meet Morley, who beat him and crossed low for Ellis Wall to steer the ball into a gaping goal for an equaliser which had never looked on the cards.

Heanor hit back and Hernandez punched the ball off the head of Kieran Wells from a Grantham cross and then saved a Debrouwer free-kick from the edge of the penalty area.

Dreadful defending cost the Lions again in the first of five minutes of stoppage time when substitute Strzyzewski’s back pass to Deakin never looked likely to reach its intended mark from the moment it left his foot and the ever dangerous Smith took advantage of the slip to roll the ball past Deakin for the winner.

It was the 3,500th league goal conceded by Heanor Town since the War and made for an unhappy journey home for the large contingent of Heanor supporters in the bumper crowd.