Still plenty for the Lions to play for this season

Postponements of the last two matches have given Heanor Town time to reflect on their current position.

For a club newly promoted to Step Five and playing in one of the most competitive leagues at that standard, to sit 11th with nine games left to play must be considered as a very sound transition.

Taking into account that there has also been a change of manager, plus an impending change of chairman/managing director, there is every reason to be optimistic about the future.

Indeed, only eight points separate five clubs from seventh to 11th positions in the table and of those five clubs, Heanor Town is one.

They still have to play Pickering Town twice, Barton Town Old Boys and Parkgate.

Sufficient points from these games could see the Lions not just finish in the top half of the table, but as high as seventh.

Thus, there is still plenty to play for and much in terms of ambition to be achieved.

Of the last nine games the Lions have to play, six are away and only three at home.

But if one looks at the way things have gone so far, only relegation strugglers Lincoln Moorlands Railway and Winterton Rangers have lost more home games than Heanor.

By contrast, only the top four teams, Brighouse Town, Scarborough Athletic, Bridlington Town and Worksop Parramore have won more away.

If form can be translated into reality then there is more than optimism to the suggestion that the Lions could finish just outside the top six and that would represent a tremendous first season at this level.

There is further good news that Heanor Town’s manager Jordan Hall is currently in talks and is trying to bring top scorer Nathan Benger back to the club.

If this were to come off, it would be another tremendous boost for everyone at Heanor Town.

And with the additional seats, improvements to the turnstiles and perimeter fencing work now completed on the Town Ground there is even more optimism around the town that the danger of relegation through inadequate facilities has all but disappeared.

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More incentive then for the team to go out and end a quite remarkable campaign on a very high note.

In terms of relegation by virtue of their playing record, last Saturday’s games which beat the monsoon weather ensured that Heanor could not finish in the bottom two.

Their 50 points is already more than Glasshoughton Welfare, Armthorpe Welfare, Lincoln Moorland Railway, Winterton Rangers, Hall Road Rangers, and the unfortunate Arnold Town – who have had ten points deducted for financial breaches – can obtain if they win all their remaining games.

Arnold’s impending doom is not particularly good news for Heanor, for they have provided, along with Long Eaton United, the only local derbies in a league covering enormous distances.

But it is fact that whichever league the FA’s Leagues Committee had decided to place the Lions in, they would be right at the perimeter of the mileage stakes.

Last year, the FA looked into reducing the number of Step Five leagues from 14 to 12. Perhaps they should now look at some long term reorganisation of Step Five leagues with a view to bringing travelling down and in line with the distances club travel in the South.

It is further fact, as things currently stand, that if Heanor were promoted to Step Four and placed in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South (the same division in which neighbours Belper Town currently compete) they would face more than 1,000 miles less travel than in their current Step Five league.

Heanor’s bid to bring a sparkling finish to the season begins on Saturday when they travel to fourth-placed Worksop Parramore, one of the shorter journeys. Kick off is at 3pm. Therefore, plenty of support is anticipated.

The reserves, who also faced postponement last week, will have Rainworth Miners Welfare Reserves as visitors to the Town Ground (3pm).