Lions urged to be more consistent by Heanor Town boss

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Heanor Town boss Neil Walton has challenged his players to show more consistency in 2019 after the Lions completed a match for the first time in four weeks.

Heanor won 3-1 at fifth-placed Eastwood Community to go 11th in the East Midlands Counties League, following a postponed match and two that were abandoned because of rain.

Walton, who described their performance on the 3G pitch at Eastwood as excellent, said: “We have spoken before in the dressing room about trying to find consistency.

“Interruptions have made it difficult with not having played for three or four weeks. That’s unfortunate and unusual.

The challenge was to get three points and get something to build on going into the next game.

“We are in a run of difficult fixtures now. It is a tough league but we have the quality and physicality to compete in this league - and compete at the top end of the table against the likes of Selston, Newark Flowserve and Sherwood.

“We are more than capable of looking after ourselves against them.”

Heanor are next in action on Saturday when they travel to second-placed Selston, who became the first side to take a point at Newark Flowserve while Heanor were beating Eastwood.

The Lions went 1-0 up in the first half at Eastwood, before extending their advantage to three in the second period ahead of a late home consolation, with loan striker Devante Reittie, from Loughborough Dynamo, among the scorers on his debut.

Walton said: “I thought we were excellent. I spoke to the lads before the game and said we needed to find our way into it.

“Our last game was 1st December — you are talking a month ago.

“We have two abandoned and one postponed so we had to play our way into the game and find a bit of rhythm.

“We had to manage our frustrations because there were going to be things we tried to do and couldn’t because we have not played enough games to be in that kind of form.

“I thought they did that very well. We weathered the storm a little bit because they are a very good side. A big physical side difficult to defend against.”

Walton added that he urged his side to be ruthless in the second half after going into half-time 1-0 up and playing well.

“I thought we looked solid,” he said. “Fitness wise the lads have done bits themselves and been disciplined to look after themselves in that downtime (because of the abandoned and postponed matches).

“No one was found out today and you have got lads coming in. Max (McClead) made his first start of the season, and he did well to last 90. The initial plan was to bring him off when he tired but because of injuries we couldn’t.

“That is when you look for a test of character, that they dig deep and find the energy to complete 90 minutes.”