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Young Lions’ maturity pleases Clarence as they weather late Highgate storm

Heanor Town v Highgate United. Danny Gordon goes for goal in the first half.
Heanor Town v Highgate United. Danny Gordon goes for goal in the first half.

Glen Clarence has been pleased with the maturity his young Heanor Town side has shown of late after the Lions saw off a late Highgate United storm on Saturday.

Heanor were always ahead in the five-goal thriller at the Town Ground which saw the visitors claw their way back into the game twice and almost snatch a point deep into injury time.

But, where a late goal conceded seven days previously had consigned Heanor to defeat away at top of the table Coleshill Town, they held on this time to claim all three points.

Clarence said: “It was a well-fought win and similar to last week. We’ve defended for our lives at the end and we’ve been very organised.

“It’s pleasing to get a win. We’d prefer it to be 3-0 than 3-2 but we’ve got to find a win and that’s what we’ve done.

“The lads have put a shift in and some of them have played beyond their years.

“It’s pleasing we’re organised defensively and it’s two goals not from open play, it’s two goals from set pieces; bearing in mind they’re Land of the Giants and we’ve got a couple.”

Heanor led 1-0 through a first half Greg Marriott goal before four goals in the space of five second half minutes - two for each side - set up a tense finale. But it was one that the young Lions weathered.

“I think we only made it tight because we probably should have done better with their two goals; both from set pieces,” said Clarence.

“Their goals came straight after our goals which is the frustrating point. It was a kick in the teeth to concede but take nothing away.

“I think Highgate are a better side than they were last season. As we know all the sides in this league are good sides and always a threat.

“I was impressed with Highgate and if you look at their results this season then [you will see] they are no mugs.”

Heanor welcome Bromsgrove Sporting to the Town Ground this coming Saturday in the Midlands Football League Premier Division after first seeing to a home MFL Cup tie with Nuneaton Griff on Tuesday night.

Clarence added: “It’s a bit of a myth that we’ve not done well in cups because we’ve reached two semi-finals in the past two years.

“A cup run’s only going to help with momentum and spirit, so we need address and assess a few knocks from today (Saturday) but we’re not going to weaken the side.

“I don’t think we’ve got players to weaken the side any more. I think we’ve got a together group and players who can do an equal job against someone else.”