The season begins for real for Heanor Town on Saturday with the Northern Counties (East) League Premier Division’s opening day.
After an ab sence of 17 years from this league, the Lions return to competitive action with an away start at Retford United, last season’s champions who were denied promotion back to the Northern Premier League.
Kick off at Canon Park is 3pm and there will be those supporters who will recall almost eight years ago to the day on a blisteringly hot Saturday, August 9, 2003, when the Lions last opened the season at Canon Park.
It was for a Central Midlands League Supreme Division game and I had the occasion to open my match report on that occasion with….. ‘Heanor Town’s hopes for the season were dealt a crushing blow in their opening game at Canon Park.’
It was an occasion when the Lions lost 6-0. There will be hopes that the same doesn’t happen this year.
Football comes early to the Town Ground this season. Indeed, in more than half-a-century of following the club I do not recall football being played on the ground as early as August 7.
But next Tuesday all that will be put to the test now that the Lions have finally been given permission to play all their fixtures at home on schedule and that includes the three mid-week games in August.
The first visitors will be old friends and rivals Arnold Town for a Northern Counties East League Premier Division game which kicks off at 7.45pm.
The club are hoping for a massive gate for their first home game in Step 5 of the Pyramid of Football.