Heanor Town exited the FA Vase after defeat to Blidworth Welfare on Saturday. Blidworth came with a game plan and it worked perfectly as they ran out 4-0 winners in the first round proper tie, writes Tony Squires.
They had done their homework on the Lions and they snuffed out the Heanor flanks fire power and crowded out Nathan Benger. On top of that they broke the game up at every opportunity and didn’t allow Heanor to play at all.
It wasn’t about how badly Heanor played. They played as well as the opposition let them and the Lions couldn’t stamp their authority on the game. Rain greeted the kick off and off side propped up Blidworth in the early exchanges. The visitors broke the game up at every opportunity. They went ahead when after two splendid saves from McCormack Tim Gregory lashed the ball home. It was a lead Blidworth never looked lke losing. Blidworth were fortunate to survive a penalty appeal in the 27th minute when Elliott Reeves went down under a challenge from behind, but the referee was on the spot and waved the Heanor appeals aside.
Wilkinson tried to lift Heanor but he had a low shot cleared off the line and quite frankly it was as close as the Lions came all afternoon.
A double Heanor substitution at half time didn’t seem to help the home side’s cause and Blidworth capitalised. Moments after missing a good chance, Max Curzon got his goal from close range after a goalmouth scramble.
Heanor continued with a high line in defence and they were caught out once too often in the 82nd minute when Brendan Williams caught Nick Hall in possession and raced clear to score a third.
There was nearly 13 minutes of time added on and Blidworth got their fourth from the penalty spot.
McCormack brought down Curzon as he threatened to score again. Gareth Curtis cracked home the resultant penalty and miserable Heanor were lucky not to concede again when Olly Ashton’s shot was pushed round the post by McCormack.
In over 60 years of watching Heanor Town teams, I have seen some poor performances, but having to write this report was one of the hardest I have ever had to do. HEANOR: McCormack, Marriott, Seale,Chris Smith, Hall, Lynch, Wilkinson, Brown (Oliver Naylor 45), Benger, Reeves (Debrouwer 64), Layton (Joe Naylor 45). Subs not used: Harris, Power. ATTENDANCE: 166.