East Midlands Counties
Bardon Hill 1
Heanor Town 4
GRAHAM Wells returned to the Lions starting line-up and scored two great goals which put the team back on top of the East Midlands Counties League and gave them their eighth double of the season last Wednesday.
Heanor enjoyed much of the first half against a team who played a rigid and very high off-side trap. But for an eagle-eyed linesman Bardon Hill might well have been in trouble well before the opening goal on 34 minutes.
As early as the 4th minute Harris was in action palming away a Peel header and managing to grab the ball ahead of the returning Jay Lee Hodgson and Benger. Six minutes later Grayson put Hodgson through but Harris brought off a great save.
It wasn’t all one-way though. Frost made a splendid save from a Mulonga shot on 14 minutes and this was followed by Hebberd heading narrowly over the angle from a corner.
Frost made a full length save from Marc Schulz on 28 minutes and the goalkeeper’s handling throughout was safe and confident.
But at the other end the Quarrymen lived dangerously on their flimsy off-side trap with Webster’s shot from distance well held by Harris with Benger waiting to pounce on any mishap.
Heanor had strong claims for what looked like a good penalty shout turned down on 32 minutes when Benger went down under a challenge from Fletcher and both players were injured. But referee Pidduck and his linesman were well placed to waive the claims aside.
Two minutes later, however, there was no doubt. Hodgson was brought down more clumsily than deliberately by Schulz and James Whitehead confidently rattled the spot kick ball into the bottom corner for a lead Heanor richly deserved.
The Lions were now well on top and Peel headed just over the bar at a corner and Wells, put superbly through by Benger, shot inches wide.
Two minutes before the break Benger played a great ball through for Graham Wells to finish with aplomb with a low shot off the inside of the far post. And there was still first half time for Hodgson to somehow fire over from three yards with only Harris to beat.
But when Harris completely miskicked a clip forward by Benger two minutes into the second half Hay Lee Hodgson was left with an empty net and the goal he deserved. The game was now all over bar the shouting.
Benger was replaced to a standing ovation from another good Heanor following. And Heanor continued to attack with a Wells cross getting hoofed clear just ahead of Hodgson poaching a fourth goal.
Grayson put Wells in again but Harris brought off yet another fine save, and Bardon Hill had much to thank him for on the night even if he was responsible for the Lions third goal.
Graham Wells completed his restoration to the starting line up, flipping the ball over a defender and then thrashing it into the roof of the net for his second goal of the game on 73 minutes.
Four minutes later Frost and Austin got into a tangle and substitute Tom Plant took advantage to lob the Heanor keeper for a consolation goal.
As Heanor’s three substitutes made little impact on the game Bardon Hill forced the pace in the last few minutes. Hebberd twice shot wayward when appearing to be well placed and Schulz blasted a clear chance high over the bar.
It was Heanor who had the last say though when Hodgson forced Harris, who ran Graham Wells close for the game’s star performer, into another first rate save.
Bardon Hill: Aaron Harris, Ryan Whatley, Ryan Hawker, Paul O’Callaghan, Adam Fletcher (Adam Cayless HT), Marc Schulz, Liam Hebberd, Dear Partner, Robert Mulonga (Zak Wilkins 67), Carl Benson (Tom Plant HT), Danny Blythe. Substitutes not used – Jack Fairbrother, Cane Carton
Heanor Town: Mark Frost, James Whitehead, Phil Auston, Ryan Cancellara (Jamie Gee-Pemberton 68), Brett Peel, Lee Stevenson, Gary Webster (Lee Askham 59), Ash Grayson, Nathan Benger (Lee Naughton 48), Jay Lee Hodgson, Graham Wells. Substitutes not used – Dave Moon, Danny Cox.
Referee: Eddie Pidduck (Beeston)
Yellow cards Bardon Hill – Ryan Hawker (foul on Ash Grayson) 40, Dean Partner (Aggressive behaviour) 85. Heanor Town – Lee Naughton (Aggressive Behaviour) 85.
Goals: Bardon Hill: Tom Plant (77). Heanor Town: James Whitehead (penalty) 34, Graham Wells (43), Jay Lee Hodgson (47), Graham Wells (73).
Star Lion: Graham Wells.