Hinckley FC 1
Heanor Town 0
A SOLITARY 61st minute strike from man of the match Jon Stevenson extended Hinckley’s unbeaten run to 16 games and dealt a damaging blow to the Lions title hopes.
Heanor were without a number of players for a variety of reasons, not all through injury, as they strove to continue to head the table.
The Lions made a bright opening, but the first real shot at goal came from Hinckley’s Gallagher and was wide in the tenth minute. Heanor’s first menacing attack game five minutes later courtesy of Brett Peel’s header saved by Shilliam.
Heanor began to come under some heavy pressure and Palfreyman flashed a shot wide and Eden just failed to get on the end of a cross from Sheppard.
Shilliam was brought into action again to save an Askham shot but was totally beaten on 31 minutes when Grayson won the ball in midfield and sent Moon clear. The striker drew Shilliam but shot wide!
The remainder of the half saw Heanor play some delightful football when they got the ball down on the floor, and it was generously applauded by supporters of both sides.
And during this time Lee Askham’s 41st minute angled drive left Shilliam for dead as the ball hit the base of an upright and rebounded up into the goalkeeper’s grateful arms.
Moon had a sharp shot well held by Shilliam before being put clear again and forcing a great save out of the giant custodian.
Moments before the interval Frost kept Heanor in the game as Reeves was played through and forced the visiting keeper into splendid action.
Heanor were to regret those first half misses as Hinckley showed why they have had such a long unbeaten run.
Sheppard was played clear by the industrious Jon Stevenson and brought another timely save from Frost. Whilst at the other end Benger, who looked uncomfortable and far from fit, wasted a free kick chance.
Sheppard took advantage of another fine Jon Stevenson pass to force Frost to save his swinging shot under the bar before former Alfreton Town striker JON STEVENSON himself burst between two defenders and hit a fine shot into the top corner from 15 yards for a splendid match winner after 61 minutes.
The same player burst through again minutes later, but this time his shot was too high, and despite the substitutions one or two Heanor heads visibly began to drop.
Strong in every challenge and with skilful players like Stevenson they will certainly be a force to be reckoned with next season.
Reeves got behind the Heanor defence on 82 minutes but shot inches over the angle and Sheppard cut in from the left and shot narrowly wide.
Hinckley were cutting the Heanor defence, now without Peel who was sent up to lead the attack, to ribbons with almost every attack, and they were the side looking most likely to score again as the game pressed on.
Even with Peel leading the attack Heanor never looked like saving the game.
Hinckley: Elliot Shilliam, Michael Reeves, Mickey Crawford, Rich Gerald, Dan Eden, Ash Morris (Jermain Gordon 76), Ash Palfreyman (Shannon Mayring 90+3), Danny Gallagher, Anthony Robinson, Jon Stevenson, Jason Sheppard.
Substitutes not used: Andy Harrison, Luke Plummer, Sam Burdett.
Heanor Town: Mark Frost, James Whitehead, Phil Austin, Ryan Cancellara, Brett Peel, Lee Stevenson, Gary Webster (Richard Hodgman 80), Ash Grayson, Nathan Benger, Dave Moon (Graham Wells 61), Lee Askham.
Substitutes not used: Danny Cox, Craig Hopkins.
Referee: Shaun Garner (Loughborough)
Goal: Hinckley :Jon Stevenson 61 minutes
Caution: Ash Morris (Hinckley) foul on Grayson 52 minutes.
Star Lion: Brett Peel
Next in action
Saturday April 16 - East Midlands Counties League - Borrowash Victoria v Heanor Town, 3pm.
Central Midlands League Reserve Supreme Division - Belper Town Reserves v Heanor Town Reserves, 3pm.
Wednesday April 20 - East Midlands Counties League - Heanor Town v Barrow Town, 7.45pm.