A penalty was all that separated Heanor Town from Hereford visitors, Westfields, in an enthralling Midland League, Premier Division contest on Saturday.
Elliott Reeves converted the 33rd minute spot-kick, which was enough for a 1-0 success that secured successive victories for Heanor for the first time this season and lifted them to sixth in the table.
Reeves almost gave the Lions an even earlier lead with a fourth minute effort that was tipped wide by Keiron Blackburn in the visitors’ goal. And as they continued to make the running, they were twice denied by the woodwork in a frantic piece of action. A shot by Adam Robley, from a corner, was deflected on to a post and when the same player fastened on to the rebound, his cutback was flicked on to the bar before Westfields eventually cleared.
Another opportunity came and went in the 17th minute when Jordan Lee pounced on a loose ball and waltzed through the visiting defence, but his strike could only find the side-netting.
Finally, Heanor’s deserved breakthrough arrived when Reeves was brought down by Blackburn. It was a contentious decision that incensed the Westfields management team, but it didn’t stop Reeves sending the ‘keeper the wrong way from the spot.
Moments later, Reeves should have doubled his tally when he raced clear of the defence, only for Blackburn to stand firm in goal.
However, the second half saw the game change dramtically as Westfields came out strong. Excellent crosses by Craig Jones caused problems, and they went close again when Kane Kahaki forced goalkeeper Wayne White to get down low to save.
The visitors almost levelled when Nick Hall’s cliced clearance fell for Jones, who blazed his volley over from ten yards. But at least Heanor remained a threat on the counter, and dangerman Reeves was twice foiled by Blackburn as he sought to wrap up the three points.