HEANOR Town supporters will enjoy their Christmas dinner with their team four points clear at the top of the East Midlands Counties League table.
But the size of their victory at Ibstock last Saturday in no way tells the story of how hard the team had to work for the three points.
Lowly Ibstock were in no mood to lie down and be counted, and with the cloying mud getting ever deeper as the game progressed it would have been easy for Heanor players to drop down to their level.
But that didn’t happen. The Lions used the flanks, particularly the right, to good effect and along with the 110 per cent effort, secured the victory they deserved.
Heanor needed an early goal to help them on the way with the pitch, sodden to start with and getting progressively heavier with the intermittent sleet showers, likely to take its toll. But they didn’t get it and had to wait until nearly half time to convert their superiority into a telling advantage.
The official attendance at the Welfare Ground was given as 40. A head count around the ground showed that 35 had come from Heanor.
And it is this remarkable support for the club which is so much appreciated by the players and management. There was a suggestion that perhaps a hundred-plus Heanor supporters attended the Derbyshire Senior Challlenge Cup game at Chesterfield the previous Tuesday. Perhaps a few more of these will become regular attenders at home matches in future.
Over the last three seasons Heanor have comprehensively proved themselves to be the best supported team in the league away from home and the supporters should be proud of this fact.
The players and management have proved themselves this season. In the three seasons which Glenn Kirkwood and Craig Hopkins have been in charge there has been nothing but a constant improvement, and whilst the average home crowd has now been lifted to three figures, there is plenty more room on the Town Ground for a few more to come any enjoy the proceedings and help to cheer on the team to what we all hope will be a title at the end of the season.
We tend to forget also that the team, and the club, are only two games away from a possible cup final appearance, and what a remarkable achievement it would be if the league and cup double could be achieved this season.
It would be the first time since the league was formed that this has happened and support from the terraces will go a long way towards making the dream a reality.
The Reserves bowed out of the Derbyshire Divisional Cup (South) last Saturday to neighbours Ripley Town in somewhat controversial circumstances after missing a hatfull of chances.
But the local derby proved something because the attendance was the best for a reserve team game this season.
Perhaps there is food for thought that reserve team football should become more localised?
Heanor have an attractive home game against Gedling Miners Welfare (3pm) on Boxing Day and it would be good to see a considerable increase in the attendance for the occasion. The Reserves have no game.