Skipper Webster leads Lions to away victory

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East Midlands

Counties League

Thurnby Nirvana 0

Heanor Town 1

Heanor’s title aspirations could have been derailed following missed first half chances, but skipper Gary Webster turned frustration into relief ten minutes after the interval with his first goal since October.

Joint manager Glenn Kirkwood enthused afterwards, “The two wins over Thurnby were our best of the season so far”.

Gary Webster returned to the side which was otherwise unchanged from the win over Greenwood Meadows last week.

Heanor made a stunning start in the sun and a Grayson header from a Whitehead cross flew just over the bar. Moments later Benger’s head down from a free kick saw Adam Kay fire narrowly wide.

Title chasing Heanor took the game to their hosts but couldn’t create much in the form of clear cut opening as Thurnby defended hard.

The game was played at a frenetic pace, but whilst Heanor dominated the play Thurnby seemed to chose the pace.

Carter in the home goal made a superb full length save from a 25th minute Williams free kick, and Benger’s great header from the subsequent corner was hoofed off the line by Walker.

Heanor’s defence got into a rare tangle on half an hour but Thurnby couldn’t take advantage with Frost off his line.

Carter saved with his knee at the other end as Benger carved out another shooting opportunity, and then Grayson splendidly played in Benger who chipped over the goalkeeper – and also the bar.

Thurnby’s somewhat intimidating manager was finally spoken to at length just before the interval to put a stop to his constant ranting and moaning.

Carter got away with a 49th minute miskick as Heanor poured forward at the start of the second half and the break they needed arrived on 55 minutes.

Graham Wells provided the cross, Nathan Benger headed the ball on and the home defence was nowhere in sight as GARY WEBSTER rattled in his first goal for almost five months to ease the Lions increasing frustrations.

Moments later Williams smacked his shot over the bar as Kay headed down a free kick, and a few Thurnby tempers were becoming somewhat frayed at this point.

Carter saved a Williams header before the home side started to introduce their substitutes and play some nice football which pushed Heanor back.

Indeed, the Lions had to do some stubborn defending, during which time Peel and Kay were magnificent.

Walker led a number of attacks and from one of which Whitehead cleared off the line from Phillips. Walker himself then moved up with the attack and met a corner perfectly only to direct the ball wide.

But Heanor weathered the storm and Thurnby’s rather frenzied efforts to hit back with a Whitehead cross-cum-shot which Carter could only watch, and breathe a sigh of relief, when the ball came back off the bar. And then in stoppage time when Carter this time saved splendidly from Benger.

Thus Heanor kept their 12th clean sheet of the season and their seventh away from home to record an excellent double over a more than useful Thurnby side who would be excellent if their discipline, on and off the pitch, matched some of their play.

Match stats

Thurnby Nirvana: Carter, Walker (Dassu 79), Gibson, Jarvis, Frank, Smith, Amoo (Miller 74), Phillips (Duale 58), Alihodzic, Duffy, Smith. Substitutes not used: Conga, Quailley

Heanor Town: Frost, Whitehead, Austin, Cancellara, Peel, Kay, Webster, Grayson, Benger, Williams (Gee-Pemberton 81), Wells (Askham 70). Substitutes not used: Stevenson, Hodgman, Naughton.

Referee: Paul Dixon (Stapleford).

Cards: None

Star Lion: Ash Grayson

Attendance: 53

Next in action

Saturday, March 26 - East Midlands Counties League - Heanor Town v Ibstock United (3pm).

Tuesday, March 29 - East Midlands Counties League - Ellistown v Heanor Town (7.45pm).

Heanor Town Reserves have no game next week.