Bolstered by several new signings, relieved Heanor Town returned to the victory trail in the Midland League, Premier Division after failing to win any of their previous four games.
Jordan Simpson, from Belper Town, and Gerry Moran, who has returned to the club from Rocester, were among the fresh faces in a much-changed line-up for the visit of mid-table Loughborough University on Bank Holiday Monday. And their presence paid dividends as third-placed Heanor strode to a 3-1 triumph that re-ignited their title push in front of a bumper crowd of 175.
Any thoughts that the team would need time to gel were dispersed in the 11th minute when Simpson marked his debut with a close-range finish. The lead was doubled on the half-hour when Greg Marriott’s thunderous shot beat ‘keeper Conor O’Keefe and came back off an upright for Joe Naylor to slip home. And although Loughborough hit back, mainly through the pace and skill of winger Jerimiah Dasalou, the home side went on to play some lovely football. Striker Jamie Moore sealed the points in the 72nd minute when nodding into an empty net after O’Keefe had fumbled a Cory Bowler free-kick. Josh Hill netted a late consolation for the visitors, but Heanor finished in good heart ahead of their home clash with Shepshed Dynamo on New Year’s Day (3 pm).
HEANOR LINE-UP -- McCormack/ Marriott, Bowler, Moran, Simpson, Lynch, Hall (Booth 82), Naylor, Clarke (Benger4 72), Debrouwer (Fletcher 72), Cooper. SUBS NOT USED: Bettney, Whittingham.