Heanor Town Reserves are enjoying their best ever campaign and have already supplied a number of players into the first team squad, writes Stan Wilton.
Confidence builds with results and their midweek 4-2 win over Holbrook Sports Reserves at the Town Ground broke them into the top six of the Central Midlands League Reserve Supreme Division for the first time.
The game itself was fast and furious but Heanor’s passing was impressive and they hit good rhythm to take a tenth-minute lead when Andreas Kokkinou forced the ball home following a free kick.
Although Mark Szuta levelled, it was Kokkinou who was on hand to send Heanor in at the break back in the lead.
Szuta levelled again for the Brookies early in the second half but Heanor’s man-of-the-match Jack Lightly scored the goal of the game in the 57th minute and a deflected Luke Duerden shot six minutes from the end gave the Lions a deserved victory.
Heanor then extended their superb home record to five wins on the trot when they defeated Graham Street Prims Reserves last Saturday 2-0 in difficult windy conditions.
Josh Marshall was prominent as Heanor took control of the early stages, and when he was hacked down 20 yards from goal the visitors could, and probably should, have been down to ten men, but the referee took no action.
However, it was his throw-in which led to the Lions going ahead after 20 minutes when the once again prominent Jack Lightly curled an 18-yard shot into the top corner for his third goal in as many games.
Substitute Jack Smith set up Kokkinou and James Riley who both squandered chances, and when Heanor should have been comfortable it took Ross Cherry to produce a brilliant save from Swallow to keep them in front.
Riley missed another chance before Kyle Holmes shrugged off several challenged to give Jack Smith the chance to seal the points with an angled shot two minutes into stoppage time.
Heanor Town have a fascinating match to look forward to on Saturday when they travel to league leaders Rainworth Miners Welfare Reserves (one defeat in 15 games) when they will look to extend their own excellent current record of one defeat in 11 games. The Kirklington Road kick off is 3pm.