Less than ideal start for Lions

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In due course there might be a few apologies due to Heanor Town supporters from the management and players for last Saturday’s opening performance.

But the old saying that “it’s early days yet” is, perhaps, still very relevant.

Those apologies might come in the form of a sprinkling of new faces. But there is nothing like a knock on the eve of the first game of a new campaign to cause a little disruption into the camp.

And this came in the form of club captain Gary Webster leaving to play more local football for his home town club Wirksworth Town.

On top of that, Darren Cartwright, who had looked most accomplished in pre-season, decided he could not get his fitness up to the standard and also quit.

Add to this the influential Ryan Cancellara being on holiday and full back Phil Austin working, and it’s not hard to see that everything wasn’t quite going according to plan.

Could things get worse? Yes indeed. New signing Spencer Commons, brother of Celtic’s Kris, was also unavailable for selection and that left the playing squad, cut to 17 players, down to 14.

But despite this, there did appear an air that Heanor only had to turn up to win after Radford’s dreadful campaign last term.

They met with dour resistance and a catalogue of defensive effors left the hill too steep to climb.

There are 35 matches still to go, but this was definitely a game everyone had put down for three points. Radford may not find other teams as generous.

However, it is certainly not all doom and gloom. Nico Degirolamo (“Geronimo” seems to fit nicely!) has joined the club and the defender will fill the boots of Adam Kay with style and panache.

There is also a buzz of excitement for what 27-year-old Spencer Commons might bring to the team.

Spencer was plying his trade with Glapwell last season, but with the Hall Corner club failing to generate the required revenue and being asked to be relegated to the Central Midlands League, Commons was snapped up.

Next Saturday’s FA Cup game at Radcliffe Olympic (3pm) is an important game for the club in a number of ways.

The players need to be more focussed and together, and this may come about with Cancellara, Austin and Commons all available for selection.

Supporters are reminded that if a replay is necessary it will take place at Radcliffe on Wednesday, August 24, otherwise Heanor will be visiting Barrow Town for a league game on Tuesday August 23.

The reserves begin their campaign on Saturday with a visit to Mickleover Sports Reserves (3pm).