Lions’ defence ships 25 goals in four friendlies

Comments like, ‘Good work out’, ‘We were positive going forward’, ‘New winger looks a class act’, etc., are what you are likely to hear from team management following pre-season friendly games.

Certainly, management look at these games from a totally different point of view to supporters. But Heanor Town supporters are wondering what has happened to a defence which conceded just 41 goals in 38 league games last term, but has already alarmingly shipped 25 in just four pre-season encounters.

Things were perhaps expected to follow on from the 3-3 draw at Staveley Miners Welfare. But just three days after this game, the Lions went down 8-1 at Gresley FC and last Friday evening suffered another defeat at Pinxton by 4-1.

At Gresley, loan custodian Jack Harvey had a debut that will not contain fond memories for him, but the size of the defeat was certainly no reflection on his performance.

It could be argued that the Moatmen’s first goal was a fluke. New boy Jermain Gordon’s shot for goal would have gone for a throw-in, had Royce Turville not thrown himself at the ball to deflect it. And their second, from Gordon himself, was not a shot either as a deflection took the ball into the top corner.

And Heanor will hope that dubious penalty awards will be confined to pre-season having suffered another such decision moments before half time. The referee, ten yards away, saw nothing but a linesman 70 yards away awarded a penalty. Add to that the fact that the home side appealed for nothing and you will hope that ‘home’ match officials will not cross the club’s path too often this season.

Dave Moon, a 58th minute substitute, scored a cracking goal and looked razor sharp in both the Gresley and Pinxton games, but there are too many holes in defence with the left back position. vacated by new club coach James Whitehead, looking a particularly difficult position to fill.

Heanor went into last Tuesday evening’s game at Arnold Town with a new on-field skipper. Glenn Kirkwood and Craig Hopkins have announced that Brett Peel will be the new team captain this season with Ash Grayson remaining as vice captain and Gary Webster continuing in the role of Club Captain.

On Saturday, the Lions will visit Stapenhill (3pm) followed next Wednesday with a visit to Carlton Town (7.45pm). They complete their pre-season fixtures with a game at Glapwell, who have demoted themselves back to the Central Midlands League for next season, on Tuesday, August 9, (7.45pm).