2013 proved to be a memorable year for Heanor Town FC as disappointment in January turned into huge optimism by December.
So here is a Year In Football, Heanor Town-style.
January: Heanor hosted Retford on January 5 and succumbed to a 2-0 loss, after a lengthy break due to poor weather.
The weekend that turned the season came the week after. Heanor beat Arnold Town FC 3-1 at Eagle Valley, Jordan Hall scoring early on and a brace from Jason Foster bringing all three points home.
On January 19, managers Glenn Kirkwood and Craig Hopkins were unveiled as the new managers of Mickleover Sports, leaving the club to appoint Jordan Hall as manager until the end of the season.
A heavy 7-0 defeat at Ilkeston in the Derbyshire Senior Cup with only one fit substitute signalled the start of Hall’s reign as manager.
February: February saw six games for Heanor, with the loss of Benger and Kellogg from the squad, as well as many players work commitments preventing them from being involved. Competition for places went out the window. The Lions beat Lincoln Moorlands, Hall Road Rangers and Thackley, shared the points at Staveley then lost at Maltby and Brighouse.
March: March saw most games called off due to awful weather conditions, Heanor only managed two games with both coming at home, losing 3-0 to Scarborough Athletic in front of 270 and then losing 3-2 to ten men Brighouse Town.
April: April brought a crazy number of games, eight in total. Five points were gained with shared points at Pickering and Nostell. Liversedge were beaten 3-0 at The Town Ground but Heanor went down to defeats against Barton Town, Glasshoughton, Long Eaton, Pickering and Parkgate.
May: Heanor wrapped up their season with a fantastic 4-2 win at much-fancied Worksop Parramore, goalscorers Grayson, Degirolamo, Wiley and Bryant helping create a night to remember as the club looked forward to new ownership under Geoff Clarence.
A new committee formed, including management and former players and managers to guide the club forward. The social club closed for huge refurbishment works.
June: June 1 saw the announcement that Glen Clarence, James Baker and Steve Huntington were appointed as the first team management. The signings of Nick Hall, Cory Bowler and Adam Nicholls were announced later the same day.
The social club re-opened on June 21 with a bang as opening night saw the bar full to capacity all evening.
July: The club announced a long list of friendlies and a number of signings were added. Commercial manager Ian Duffield contacted businesses with a fantastic response from those wanting to support Heanor Town through sponsorship. It was announced season ticket prices were being frozen at £80 for adults and £50 concessions, including cup games.
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August: Heanor started the season with a disastrous 4-2 defeat at Maltby Main, followed by defeat at Athersley Rec and Retford United before a comprehensive 9-4 victory over Nostell Miners Welfare.
Defeat at Thackley and a 3-1 demolition of Armthorpe followed.
Heanor’s FA Vase campaign started with a 4-0 win at Anstey Nomads, followed by the first home match where Heanor lost 3-1 to Tadcaster Albion, a frustrating draw when hosting Retford, defeat at Basford, an 8-2 hammering of Aylestone Park in the FA Vase before Heanor hosted both Lincoln then Glasshoughton, gaining a win and defeat respectively.
October: Eight games were played this month, Heanor hammered Staveley, Winterton and Barton Town Old Boys within a week, they then beat bitter rivals Brighouse 1-0 in a close match. Then came the FA Vase match, Kirby Muxloe were the visitors to The Town Ground. Heanor went 2-0 down before a Debrouwer hat-trick and a Nathan Benger goal sealed a dramatic 4-2 extra time win. Only hours after the full time whistle the news filtered that Benger had appeared in an earlier round for Staveley MWFC, meaning Heanor faced being removed from the competition – a fate they suffered at an appeal just 11 days later. A huge kick in the teeth with Heanor looking to make a challenge for The FA Vase this season.
A 5-0 loss on a cold Wednesday night in Bridlington stopped October being an unbeaten month for The Lions.
Three wins started November off, 5-1 at Parkgate, 3-1 when Armthorpe visited The Town Ground then a hard fought 2-0 win against CML side South Normanton in the Derbyshire Senior Cup.
Another long distance midweek away trip followed, this time to Albion Sports (based in Pudsey) where The Lions arrived late due to traffic to face slow, sleet and a 3-2 defeat. The Lions picked themselves up and beat rivals Thackley 4-3 when they visited Heanor. A league cup second round win at Parkgate came as a welcome treat where Heanor ran out 8-0 winners, u19’s keeper Lewis Buxton became the youngest player included in a Heanor matchday squad in 2013 at just 16.
Heanor wrapped up November with a 2-1 win against Albion Sports on The Town Ground, coming from behind to win that match.
The final month of 2013 came with four wins and two defeats. Defeat at Tadcaster and at home to Basford maybe didn’t come as a surprise but with the league table as tight as it currently is Heanor had a chance to beat both sides. Ryan Tinsley marked his debut with a goal after 12 minutes when Heanor beat Liversedge 4-1, Debrouwer bagged four goals against Lincoln Moorlands when Heanor won 8-1 on the road, he grabbed another hat-trick (his eighth of the season) just a week later when Winterton suffered a 5-0 defeat on The Town Ground.
December will be remembered for a memorable DSC match at Conference side Alfreton Town FC. Heanor fought hard for every ball, taking the match into extra time, Debrouwer scored one of his most memorable goals of this season when he put the ball into the net on 100 minutes to set up a County Cup Quarter Final tie against Graham Street Prims, to be played in January 2014.
Season ticket holder Lee Spurr commented: “The future has never looked as bright. If the same squad is kept for next season Heanor will be a top three side, however that can still be achieved this season.”
Scott Ward, who had been treasurer at Blidworth FC in the CMFL until he joined Heanor as general manager in October shared his excitement: “It’s been a tough start to life at Heanor Town FC, it’s a massive step up from the CMFL and we’ve had a few challenges since I joined, I’m settling in well now and enjoying being a part of a club moving forward”.
Heanor Town FC certainly does have a big future ahead. 130 years have been and gone since the club first formed, the hard work going in behind the scenes is to ensure that Heanor Town FC will develop and keep growing for the next 130 years and beyond.