Heanor take over at the top of the table

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East Midlands

East Midlands

Counties League

Heanor Town 3

Ibstock United 0

HEANOR Town’s sixth clean sheet in seven games and goals from Gary Webster, Ash Grayson and Dave Moon projected them back to the top of the East Midlands Counties League table and made them current title favourites.

Lee Askham replaced Graham Wells as the only change in the Lions line-up.

Heanor made their customary start bombarding the visitors goal, but the third minute chance set up for Nathan Benger from Whitehead’s cross lacked the power to trouble Exton.

Adams drilled a long-range shot wide for the visitors before Heanor took an eleventh minute lead.

Benger’s brilliant through ball was splendidly converted by skipper GARY WEBSTER to ease the tension.

And moments later it might have been worse for Ibstock but Exton plucked another Whitehead cross off the head of Williams, who also volleyed wide in the next raid as Heanor kept up the pressure.

Whitehead was prominent for Heanor and he saw his header from Grayson’s cross come back off a post with Exton and his fellow defenders beaten.

But it took the Lions only twenty minutes to increase their advantage when ASH GRAYSON glanced home Askham’s cross with a fine header.

Wileman headed a Grayson volley off the line as Heanor kept up the pressure, and then Benger shot inches wide.

Williams headed over a Whitehead cross and then put a fierce volley wide.

Frost had enjoyed a relatively easy first half with a goal kick and a free kick for off-side virtually his only contributions as Heanor kept the pressure up.

Williams was injured early in the second half and replaced by new signing Dave Moon. It took another good save from Exton to keep out a Benger header though.

Ward shot wide for the visitors as they settled into a better routine in the second half, but it was still Heanor who continued to create the chances.

Exton distinguished himself once again in the 56th minute when he saved a screamer of a shot from Askham and then a header from Adam Kay following a Whitehead free kick.

Carline shot wide from a strangely-awarded free kick on the edge of the penalty area as Ibstock ventured forward again but it took another first class save from Exton to prevent them from falling further behind in the 75th minute when Austin and Askham provided the opening for a full blooded Webster shot.

There was magic in the air in the 79th minute when DAVE MOON got on the scoresheet for the first time for his new club. Benger had two shots blocked, the second of which saw the ball loop up nicely for Moon to open his account with a simple header which he gladly claimed.

There was still time for substitute Graham Wells to sent a fierce volley into the side netting as Heanor played out the last five minutes or so with ten men when Grayson limped off and all the substitutes had been used.

But it was the visitors who had the last say when Ryan Pearce hit a stinging stoppage time shot which Frost saved splendidly to ensure his side kept yet another clean sheet.

Defensively, Heanor were brilliant with Kay and Peel again outstanding, but it was from the flanks where they produced their biggest danger with Whitehead and Austin starting and supporting a series of outstanding moves.

Match stats

HEANOR TOWN: Frost, Whitehead (Stevenson 80), Austin,  Cancellara, Peel, Kay, Webster (Wells 81), Grayson, Benger, Williams (Moon 47), Askham. Substitutes not used - Gee-Pemberton, Naughton.

IBSTOCK UNITED: Exton, Barton, Adams (Neill 77), Robinson (Lovitt 83), Brown, Murray, Wileman, Carline, Ward, Bailey, Pearce. Substitute not used – Lewis.

REFEREE: Robert Jackson (Sutton-in-Ashfield)

ATTENDANCE: 78

CARDS: None

STAR LION: Phil Austin – an outstanding 90 minute contribution.

Next in action

Saturday April 2

East Midlands Counties League

HEANOR TOWN v Gresley (3pm)

Tuesday April 5

East Midlands Counties League

Gedling MW v HEANOR TOWN (7.45pm).

Wednesday April 6

Central Midlands League, Reserve Supreme Division

Heanor Town Reserves v Blidworth Welfare Reserves (7.45pm).