Lions answer critics with fine victory

Heanor Town FC v Coventry United, pictured is Joe Naylor
Heanor Town FC v Coventry United, pictured is Joe Naylor

Heanor Town boss Glen Clarence praised his players as they bounced back from a difficult week to defeat Coventry United.

Two second-half goals completed a fine fightback as the Lions won 2-1 to go eighth in the Midland Football League Premier Division.

The victory — courtesy of headers from Joe Naylor and Matthew Brian — followed a controversial 4-3 last-gasp league defeat to St Andrews the previous Saturday and then an unexpected loss to Aston United in the Derbyshire Senior Cup.

Clarence said: “We have got to play like that week in week out — and that has been the issue. I am taking nothing away from this side today.

“That didn’t look like a sinking ship, a team not playing for us, a team that is not good enough, a team that is relegation fodder.

“I think a lot of people have been answered, but that has to be every week — especially the desire and work rate and togetherness.

“Kick us when we are down but clap us when we deserve it —and we certainly deserved it.”

Coventry took a first-half lead through a deflected 25-yard strike, but Heanor fought back well and Naylor and Brian, who netted the previous Saturday, and Nick Hall were denied by the keeper.

Naylor eventually levelled and Brian struck the late winner.

Clarence added: “The fans were superb today and that was for them — especially those who got behind us when we were 3-1 down to Aston.

“Coventry are as a good as Westfields (the lowest-ranked team to make the first round of the FA Cup) so that shows how well we played today.

“Yes we got lucky, but we deserve some luck at times.”