All-square for the Lions

Heanor Town had to settle for a point at the Town Ground after a 1-1 draw with Maltby Main on Tuesday, writes Tony Squires.

The woodwork certainly saved the visitors from South Yorkshire, Debrouwer crashing a shot onto the bar in the third minute.

Just two minutes later, Shaw drove an in-swinging freekick at goal, but the defender attempting to place the ball into the corner made it easy for the goalkeeper.

On nine minutes, Debrouwer stepped up from 20 yards and left the Maltby ‘keeper lucky to be able to palm the free kick to safety.

Heanor had another great opportunity to break the deadlock on 14 minutes. Blake met a corner with time and space, the ball just too high as the defender missed the target.

Heanor did open the scoring in the 21st minute, great work down the right side by Stevenson saw him find space to deliver a cross to the back post, Benger was on hand to beat the defender to the ball and head the ball home for his 19th goal of what is a good season for the frontman.

When Heanor travelled to Maltby for the opening day of the season, The Lions had trouble keeping Maltby’s Brian Cusworth quiet and it was he who tested Frost for Maltby’s first effort on goal. The former Alfreton forward’s effort looked well hit but lacked the power to beat Frost as he saved well.

Debrouwer nearly doubled the lead on 31 minutes but his powerful effort only found the back of the stand, rather than the back of the net.

Maltby’s defending had already seen a caution for The Miners’ Callum Mackie in the 24th minute but the challenge on Webster on 34 minutes just outside the area looked to be denying a clear goalscoring opportunity, the caution definitely deserved. On another day it would have been a dismissal.

Cusworth headed narrowly wide for Maltby on 40 minutes after a free kick, the Heanor defence struggling to keep hold of him.

Tinsley replaced Hall at half-time, Tinsley playing his last game for the club before moving to New Zealand to try his hand at professional football.

The second half started in the same way as the first had, with chance after chance for Heanor. Holmes cleared the bar on 48 minutes, Shaw found the keeper’s midriff on 52 minutes and a goalmouth scramble on 54 saw both Benger and Holmes have shots well stopped by rugged defending.

On 58 minutes, Webster tried his luck with a left-footed shot that brought the Hollywood save of the night from Jamie Bailey.

It was the same player who tested Bailey two minutes later, this time there was a fine fingertip save from the stopper. If it was a case of anything you can do, I can do better, Frost edged it on 64 minutes with an excellent save from Cusworth’s effort.

Shortly after, Crosby replaced Holmes to give the forward line a little more strength.

Shaw found himself in the referee’s notebook on 72 minutes, his tackle on Nicky Darker seen fit to warrant the caution.

On 73 minutes, Cusworth finally made an impact, his back post header from another free kick nearly burst the back of the net to bring parity to the scores.

Just before the restart, the referee had a prolonged discussion with Maltby’s captain, Darker, about the team’s discipline.

Crosby nearly got a goal on 74 minutes, his left-foot effort going across goal was saved by Bailey. Unfortunately the following corner was fruitless.

On 83 minutes, Debrouwer could have got the goal of the night, his volley from 18 yards shaped nicely and looked to have dipped perfectly, until it crashed off the bar, giving Maltby a chance to clear.

Bailey produced another great save on 85 minutes, this time from a Benger header that looked certain to be the winner.

When Maltby’s Joe Davies tripped Lee Stevenson on 87 minutes, the free kick awarded on the halfway line looked like a perfect chance to mount another attack. However, Shaw’s free kick was overhit and only found Bailey’s outstrectched arms.

Frost saw his position as star Lion guaranteed by the fine double save in the 88th minute, saving well from Davies then Cusworth is quick succession.