Lions’ chances go begging

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Heanor Town looked to be on their way to a good win until they gave two silly goals away around the hour mark and were unable to recover.

Local goalscoring sensation Sam Smith was left free to blast Parkgate ahead in their first attack, but the Lions were soon playing some great football on a beautiful playing surface.

They were level on 14 minutes through Nathan Whitehead’s first goal for the club, a precise and well executed clip into the top corner from four yards outside the box. It ended a sumptuous Heanor move.

Heanor played some delightful passing football, but Parkgate were competitive throughout and had a spell of pressure of their own midway through the half.

But the home side were fortunate to survive when Heanor put together a series of splendid moves in a nineminute spell just before the break. Jordan Hall provided an inch perfect cross for Dwayne Wiley, clear, to hit first time straight at the goalkeeper in the 32nd minute. Robert Poulter in the home goal was even luckier four minutes later when he got the faintest of touches to Hall’s shot to turn the ball round the post for a corner.

And from the resultant flag kick Neil Grayson had a great back header cleared off the line with those nearest the ball claiming a goal. Heanor resumed in charge and Stevenson shot wide and a Phil Austin’s free kick just eluded Brett Peel. But with Heanor on top and charging forward in numbers they were caught out by a lumped clearance which Martin Lee chased and raced clear to put Parkgate into a 58th minute lead.

Heanor’s defence failed again two minutes later and sharpshooter Smith gleefully half-volleyed home his second of the match.

Dwayne Wiley provided the perfect throughball for Lee Stevenson to sweep majestically home with 15 minutes remaining to set up a strong finish, and while Heanor certainly did not deserve to lose this one they did lack a menacing figure in front of goal.