Weary Lions surprise boss in win over Coventry Sphinx that takes them top

Heanor Town v Walsaw Wood.'Jay Cooper in second half action against Walsaw Wood.
Heanor Town v Walsaw Wood.'Jay Cooper in second half action against Walsaw Wood.

Heanor Town boss Glen Clarence was pleasantly surprised by his side’s first half blitzing of Coventry Sphinx on Monday night.

With injuries and a hectic fixture schedule ramping up the pressure on the Lions, they roared into a 3-0 lead before running out 4-2 winners to go top of the Midland Football League Premier.

Clarence knew Monday’s game would be a test, even if Sphinx were lying in 19th in the division.

He told the Ripley and Heanor News: “Monday night was always going to be tough.

“We were already carrying injuries to key players, and playing three games in six days, two of which were Saturday and Monday against a side that have played one game in 10 days.

“(But) I was surprised at half-time as understandably we weren’t at our best but came in 3-0 up after some clinical finishing.”

Coventry Sphinx fought back after the break, before Heanor made the points safe to take top spot, albeit before Hereford played for the chance to overtake them as the Ripley and Heanor News went to print.

While being ahead of the chasing pack is obviously a nice situation to be in, Clarence wasn’t getting carried away, still taking it one game at a time.

He said: “The second half was more of what we expected, unfortunately we let them back into the game but after some resolute defending we managed to hit them on the break to see the game off and go top of the league.

“Hereford are playing tonight and may go back to the top but last night was all about getting three points and we did that so credit to the lads.”

The good news for Heanor’s presumably weary squad is that they can recover before Saturday’s trip to Stourport Swifts.

“I’ve given them the rest of the week off to rest their legs and we will hopefully get a couple back from injury so we should be fine,” added Clarence.