FA CUP RETURNS TO HEANOR

Heanor Town’s playing squad has taken a battering of late with injuries, work and unavailability badly affecting.

Indeed, the Lions have been unable to turn out the same team in any of their four matches so far this season.

However, since the surprise opening day defeat at Radford, the consolation is that Heanor have put together three successive wins, and all away from home.

Bank Holiday Monday’s win at Borrowash will not have been totally unexpected by Heanor Town supporters, for the Robinson Construction Bowl had tended to be a happy hunting ground for many years.

True, the game did not reach the heights of the previous win at Barrow Town, but there were a number of reasons for that, not least of which was the Barrow playing surface which is second to none in the East Midlands Counties League.

It encourages good football and Heanor really did rise to the occasion and play some beautiful stuff. Sadly there was an injury to Phil Austin which kept him out of the game against Borrowash, and injury too for Lee Naughton who has sat out the last two games.

Consequently there have been two new additions to the squad in the last week with goalkeeper Joe McCormack joining the Lions from Pinxton having successfully recovered from a broken arm suffered last season. And Jason Foster, a right-sided midfield player or defender has joined the Lions from Northern Counties East League side Teversal.

Joint manager Glenn Kirkwood will be serving the second of his two match suspension when Boston Town visit the Town Ground on Saturday in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup (3pm).

But apart from that, there is every reason to believe that, with all the injuries cleared up, there should be a full, and very strong squad of players to select the side from against their United Counties League opponents.

And with the rules of the FA Cup allowing seven substitutes to be nominated (but with still three only being able to be used, of course), both Foster, who was an unused substitute at Borrowash, and McCormack will automatically come into contention for bench places.

Indeed, it is quite exciting to have FA Cup football back at the Town Ground after a lapse of 15 years. Cricket rules out any possible home ties being played during the month of August and so Saturday’s game will be the Lions first at home in the competition since they hosted a 2-1 defeat to Northern League side Penrith in September 1996.

It does without saying that all at the club will hope for a better result in the competition this season.

The prize for the winners, apart from the financial side as a result of the competition’s sponsorship, will be a trip to play the winners of the Borrowash Victoria v Carlton Town tie on September 17 in the first qualifying round.

Should a replay be necessary it will take place at Boston’s Tattershall Road Ground on Tuesday, September 6 kick off 7.45pm, but if a replay is not necessary, the Lions will entertain Holwell Sports (7.45pm) on Wednesday evening in their first home East Midlands Counties League game of the season.

Heanor Town Reserves play their second league game of the campaign on Saturday when they visit Christchurch Meadows to play Belper Town Reserves kick off 3pm.

There are no midweek games for the Reserves planned during September.