Heanor face last season’s giant killers in early FA Cup encounter

TRAINING has been in motion for a couple of weeks for Heanor Town players and there are a number of new faces and triallists.

Most of last season’s players have reported back for duty with the exception of Nathan Benger who has joined Buxton.

It is understood that several of the other players have been approached by clubs playing in a higher standard of football but the management team of Glenn Kirkwood and Craig Hopkins are hopeful they will stay faithful to the Lions.

The first of the pre-season friendly games took place behind closed doors last night at Moor Farm against a young Derby County XI and on Saturday the Lions will be visiting Staveley Miners Welfare (3pm) before journeying to Gresley (7.30pm) next Tuesday evening.

Heanor have received mixed draws in this season’s Football Association competitions.

In the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round they have been drawn away to last season’s giant killers Radcliffe Olympic and the game will be played on Saturday August 13.

Radcliffe pulled in some very handy prize money as they battled their way through to the third qualifying round before bowing out 2-0 at Tipton Town in a replay.

The winners will be at home to either Glossop North End or Boston Town in the Preliminary Round on Saturday September 3.

And should interest still be sustained the Lions will be away to Borrowash Victoria, Sleaford Town or Carlton Town in the First Qualifying Round on Saturday, September 17.

FA Vase

Having reached the Second Round Proper of the FA Vase once again last season, Heanor had high hopes of a bye in the First Qualifying round this season, but it is not to be.

They will entertain old foes Dunkirk, now playing in the Midland Alliance, in a difficult First Qualifying Round tie on Saturday, September 10, with the winners acting as hosts to Central Midlands League side Pinxton in the Second Qualifying Round on Saturday, September 24.

And once again if interest is maintained the Lions could be visiting Teversal or Blackwell Miners Welfare in the First Round Proper of the competition on Saturday, October 22.

In the East Midlands Counties League, the Lions will visit Borrowash Victoria on August Bank Holiday Monday (29th) with the return game taking place on the Town Ground on Easter Monday, 9th April.

Heanor have been fortunate in landing two home ties over Easter, with one of the league newcomers, Blaby & Whetstone Athletic, visiting the Town Ground on Easter Saturday.

The other newcomers to the competition, Oadby Town, will be in Heanor on January 14th (weather permitting), with the Lions visiting Oadby for the first time ever on April 21, currently scheduled as the last game of the season.

Pre-season games

July 13

Derby County XI away

July 16

Staveley MW away

July 19

Gresley FC away

July 23

Pinxton away

July 26

Arnold Town away

July 30

Stapenhill away

August 3

Carlton Town away