Heanor Town Reserves lost 4-3 at home to Allenton United Reserves on Saturday, in the Central Midlands League Reserve League Cup, writes Stan Wilton.
Heanor swept into a two-goal lead inside the first eight minutes. Alex Marshall flicked home James Riley’s free kick with barely three minutes on the clock, and the same player doubled the Lions advantage five minutes later with a tap-in from Craig Buxton’s lovely unselfish pass.
A little more steadiness in front of goal might have brought Marshall his hat-trick in the tenth minute, but the ball went wide.
Allenton’s first attack of the game in the 11th minute won them a corner and Tremayne Anderson forced the ball home in the goalmouth scramble.
From this point on, Heanor’s game deteriorated and Allenton grew in strength to look the better and stronger side.
It was Anderson who restored parity in the 24th minute, taking a pass from the impressive Ryan O’Connor to run on, draw Cherry and find the bottom corner of the net with a sweet low shot.
Heanor had found the constant stoppages and breaking up of the game to their disadvantage in a first half in which there were 20 free kicks, 13 conceded by the visitors.
There was little quality about the game and it didn’t improve in the second half, although Craig Buxton put Heanor in front again on 58 minutes when he picked up a long clearance from goalkeeper Cherry, drew Tyers and slotted the ball home.
Buxton wasted another chance by shooting straight at Tyers and really wasted two corners, whilst at the other end O’Connor got through but shot straight at Cherry.
The visitors’ Ross Lloyd received a second yelloe card, leaving them to face the last 18 minutes with ten men.
A cracking 22-yard shot into the top corner from Robert Lowrie on 77 minutes looked like bringing extra time.
But the visitors remained on top despite their inferior numbers and man-of-the-match Ryan O’Connor headed them in front for the first time with five minutes left, a lead which they held on comfortably to progress.
Heanor: Cherry, Crossley, Longdon, Bonsall, Essex (Barber 50), Lightly, Kokkinou (Daniel 86), Riley, Marshall, Buxton, Dearden. Substitutes not used – Stelmach, Smith (J), Ashton.