Heanor Town edge seven-goal thriller

East Midlands

Counties League

Heanor Town 4

Bardon Hill 3

AFTER taking an early lead sloppy Heanor fell behind to three first half goals in 18 minutes before hitting back with a storming second half performance that thrilled the crowd so much the 85 sounded like 8,500.

Heanor were unchanged for the third successive game but were a little short in the substitute drawer where players appear to have left because they can’t get a game.

Both sides made a spirited start in sizzling sunshine with the first chance falling to Nathan Benger on 11 minutes, but his header was planted straight at Aaron Harris.

When Jason Foster supplied the free kick Nathan Benger’s header was just too high two minutes later, but in the 15th minute it was third time lucky when he tapped the Lions ahead into an empty net after Keiran Debrouwer had skipped clear and rounded Harris to unselfishly supply the cross.

Three minutes later the visitors were level when centre half Paul O’Callaghan headed home via an upright following the visitors seventh corner.

Graham Wells saw his shot from Benger’s pass saved by Harris before Bardon Hill took the lead on 22 minutes when former Holbrook player Karl Demidh clipped the ball home from a right wing cross following a free kick needlessly conceded by skipper Brett Peel for which he was yellow carded.

Bardon Hill had their tails up and Frost saved when Demidh threatened to extend their advantage, and then, as Heanor continued to give away needless free kicks, Frost saved from former Scunthorpe and Tamworth striker Gareth Sheldon.

But the visitors went further ahead on 35 minutes when, following a Heanor attack breaking down, Demidh was allowed to run almost half the length of the pitch before hitting an unstoppable shot into the top corner via the inside of an upright.

It had been Heanor’s worst 20 minutes of the season and just about the only player who continued to believe in the cause was Graham Wells. It was significant that his shot from an excellent build-up just before the interval went close to closing the gap.

Rob Mulonga raised his hand to slap Mark Frost on 44 minutes after the Heanor custodian had said something following the striker kicking the ball away.

Referee Mason, who had a desperately poor game, produced only a yellow card and the first half ended with the match officials coming in for some critism from players, management and crowd.

In situations like this the management either jump up and down and raise their voice in the dressing room at half time, or they send the players out early with a few choice words ringing in their ears. It seemed the latter might have prevailed.

And if the visitors expected to have to defend in the second period they were absolutely right because Heanor’s performance from hereon in was as dominant as anything I have seen since the mid-1950’s.

Harris produced a wonder save tipping Benger’s header onto the bar but Graham Wells reacted first to head the rebound over him on 53 minutes and the Quarrymen significantly now wasted more time than ever.

Harris produced a splendid save from Jake Vernon’s 62nd minute free kick, and when Ryan Cancellara sent Vernon clear three minutes later referee Mason came in for more critism for bringing the game back for a Heanor free kick. It was more than clear that the referee was not enjoying his afternoon and the Heanor crowd were more than quick to tell him so.

A ripping Cancellara shot only found the side netting on 70 minutes but when Danny Blythe and Graham Wells clashed less than a minute later referee Mason pointed to the spot. Nathan Benger coolly despatched the penalty into the top corner and parity was restored.

When Harris dropped a high cross Wells almost completed the perfect come back and then the keeper blocked a Vernon volley as the visitors were penned in their own half throughout the whole of the second half.

Harris saved well again touching a Degirolamo header over the bar and a Benger shot flashed just over the angle.

In a terrific goalmouth scramble following a corner Benger completed his hat-trick with a flick at the loose ball to send it over the line for an Heanor winner in a second half in which Mark Frost in the home goal only touched the ball three times.

Match stats

Heanor Town: Mark Frost, Jason Foster, Phil Austin, Ryan Cancellara, Brett Peel, Nico Degirolamo, Gary Webster, Kieran Debrouwer, Nathan Benger, Jake Vernon, Graham Wells. Substitutes not used – Lee Stevenson, Phil Lowry, Richard Guest, James Whitehead, Craig Hopkins.

Bardon Hill: Aaron Harris, Danny Blythe, Jamie March, Adam Fletcher, Paul O’Callaghan, Dean Partner, Ryan Whatley (Ephriam Williams 69), Marc Schulz, Rob Mulongs (Danny Cox 82), Gareth Sheldon (Liam Hebberd 85), Karl Demidh. Substitute not used – Jordach Taylor.

Referee: Scott Mason of Sutton-in-Ashfield.

Attendance: 85.

Star Lion: Nathan Benger.

Yellow cards: Heanor – Brett Peel (21) Bardon Hill – Rob Mulongs (44), Ryan Whatley (65), Marc Schulz (86).

Goals: Heanor – Nathan Benger (15, 72 penalty, 87). Graham Wells (53) Bardon Hill – Paul O’Callaghan (18), Karl Demidh (22,35).

Next in action

Saturday October 8 - East Midlands Counties League - Gedling MW v Heanor Town, 3pm.

Central Midlands League - Heanor Town Reserves v Clipstone Welfare Reserves, 3pm.

Tuesday, October 11 - East Midlands Counties League - Ellistown v Heanor Town, 7.45pm.