Lions return to action at last with away win

Heanor Town's Kyle Daley.
Heanor Town's Kyle Daley.

Heanor Town turned the East Midlands Counties League table upside down as they completed a match for the first time since early December.

The Lions won 3-1 at fifth-placed Eastwood Community to finish 2018 in 11th position.

The fine away win followed the postponement of the match against leaders Newark Flowserve and two abandoned matches because of rain.

Coupled with the deduction of three points for fielding an illegible player, it has been a tough three weeks for Heanor,

But they bounced back in style for their seventh league away win in what has so far been a more productive season on their travels.

Debutant Devante Reittie, on loan from Loughborough Dynamo, twice fired wide early on and Chay Betteridge was also off target from inside the area as Heanor started well.

In the 18th minute Eastwood put the ball in the net, but the offside flag was up.

Two minutes later the visitors found the breakthrough when Jordan Ball collected a cross from the right, flicked the ball in the air and volleyed home.

Kyle Daley and Ben Cartwright tried their luck from distance as the Lions sought to extend their advantage.

At the other end Cartwright cleared off the line and Eastwood had another ‘goal’ ruled out, this time for a foul.

The Lions three times went close to making it 2-0 in the opening seven minutes of the second half.

Reittie’s shot flashed across the face of goal, Jesse Vowles’ strike from the edge of the area was tipped behind for a corner, and Daley’s inswinging corner was out behind by the keeper.

Reittie was not to be denied in his first match for the Lions, however, and the striker made it 2-0 with a 57th minute strike from the edge of the area.

The only black mark on the afternoon for Heanor came around the hour when Danny Chatfield was carried off the pitch following prolonged treatment for what looked to be a dislocated knee injury.

The points were secured in the 73rd minute when Jordan Ball smashed a volley into the top corner from 18 yards.

Ten minutes from time Kieran Knight pulled a goal back for the hosts.