Lions stalking old foes in FA Cup after incident packed season opener

editorial image

Heanor Town cross swords with an old foe as their FA Cup campaign gets underway on Saturday.

Glen Clarence takes his men to Kirby Muxlow, who were the opponents in a controversial FA Vase tie in 2013.

The appearance of Nathan Benger in the game, who had played in a previous round, led a complaint by Kirby Muxlow and the Lions were promptly ejected from the competition.

But it transpired Kirby Muxlow had also fielded an ineligible player, and were thrown out themselves.

While the FA Cup may not begin for months for the ‘big boys’ in the English game, it starts this weekend for many non league sides.

And Clarence can’t wait.

He said: “It’s still exciting, the FA Cup is brilliant for clubs like us as a revenue stream.

“And it’s a great competition to be in.”

The Heanor boss is relishing the added spice of renewing hostilities with ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Kirby Muxlow.

“There’s a bit of bad blood there, they got us kicked out of the FA Vase after we beat them, they lodged a complaint about Nathan Benger who had played in an earlier round.

“But they got kicked out too.

“We’re looking forward to it.”

Heanor began life in the Midland Football League Premier last weekend, beating Boldmere St Michaels 2-1 in an incident packed game.

The Lions lost centre-half Adie Hawes to a knee injury and Jamie Clarke to a red card, but substitute Dre Johnson made it a winning start to the 2015/16 season with his second half winner.

Clarence said: “We came away pleased, because we were down to 10 men and everything seemed to go against us.

“We had a centre-half injured after 10 or 15 minutes, had to make changes, then a man sent off for a reaction to a bad tackle, so it was backs against the wall.”

It might have been the very first competitive outing of the season, but Clarence was delighted to see his new-look side fight shoulder to shoulder for the victory in adverse conditions.

“We had a few new faces brought in during pre-season but it was very pleasing to see the togetherness,” he said.

“And I’m very happy with the win because we’re adjusting to this league, and the officials – I have to be careful what I say but they didn’t seem on our side.”

Hawes, who has damaged his medial ligament, will be out for at least three to four weeks, but Heanor can count on youngster Regan Edridge to fill the breach.

Clarence added: “Adie is a good player and he will be missed, but we’ve got a quality centre-half who can come in for a quality centre-half.”

Heanor take on Rocester at home tonight.