Heanor held as Gedling conjure a late equaliser

East Midlands

Counties League

Premier Division

Gedling MW 2

Heanor Town 2

SLOPPY defending five minutes from the end cost Heanor Town two vital points in the championship race at Gedling MW on Tuesday night.

Heanor were shorn of the services of five key players through injury for another big top-of-the-table clash but they had a surprise and welcome return to action by striker Jaylee Hodgson.

After a strangely quiet opening to the game, Heanor had shouts for a penalty turned aside by referee Bourne when Hodgson went down under a clumsy challenge from home centre back Cory Nightingale on 22 minutes.

Two minutes later Gary Webster headed wide from al lovely Phil Austin cross

Just two minutes further on and Heanor had the lead. Lee Askham’s fine run ended with him setting jup Hodgson who cracked a 28-yard volley past a hopelessly stretched home keeper Ross Cherry.

Heanor continued to dominate and Hodgson shot wide after heavy visiting pressure had resulted in Nightingale’s headed back pass led to a corner being conceded.

Lee Naughton was a fraction away from doubling Heanor’s lead but he couldn’t quite get a touch to Austin’s cross on 33 minutes.

Four minutes later Askham’s shot came back off a post after a great Heanor move started by Ash Grayson.

And the home goal continued to lead a charmed life when Austin flashed a cross through the area untouched.

That was followed by a great save from Cherry to keep out Hodgson’s shot.

Gedling’s first shot at goal came two minutes into first half stoppage time from Barry Payne who headed wide following a corner, he really should have scored

The first half misses came back to haunt Heanor four minutes into the second half when Jamie Brown equalised against the run of play with an unmarked header to convert Luke Smith’s cross for the equaliser.

Heanor retaliated and Brett Peel got on the end of a cross but shot straight at the home keeper.

Gedling, geed up by two half-time changes, competed much better in the second half and Heanor keeper Mark Frost pulled off a splendid one-handed save at the expense of a corner to deny former Lion Danny Roberts on 61 minutes.

Five minutes later it was the turn of Cherry to keep Gedling in it when substitute Dave Moon got clear and got his shot away. The home keeper made a great save but when the ball rebounded to Moon who set up skipper Gary Webster, he fired over an open goal and another chance was gone.

Heanor regained the lead on 69 minutes when Austin and Askham worked the ball down the left, Moon won the race for it, Askham cut in from the byline and netted with a shot from a difficult angle between the legs of the keeper on his front post and into the far corner.

Heanor continued to cominate but Gedling equalised when Austin went into a challenge on Warren Hatfield. From the free kick Frost leapt from his line to try and win the ball into the visiting area but home substitute Karim Ebrahim beat him to the ball to head into an empty net

Even then Heanor could have won it on 89 minutes when Hodgson was sent clear with only the keeper to beat, he set himself nicely but the shot came off the keeper’s thigh and diverted for a corner

Match stats

Gedling MW: Ross Cherry, Liam Corrigan, Luke Smith, Danny Hayes, Cory Nightingale, Danny Roberts, Jamie Brown, Barry Payne (Karim Ebrahim, h/t), Matt Pebberday, Warren Hatfield, Dave Marlow (Ashley Winfield, h/t).

Substitutes not used: Craig Boulton, Stephen Cox, Hesham Ramadan

Heanor Town: Mark Frost, Richard Hodgman, Phil Austin, Ryan Cancellara, Brett Peel, Lee Stevenson, Gary Webster, Ashley Grayson, Lee Naughton (Dave Moon 59), Jaylee Hodgson, Lee Askham.

Substitutes not used: Graham Wells, Danny Cox, Tom Norris, Sam Leggitt.

Referee: Mr Declan Bourne of Chilwell

Attendance: 106

Goals: Gedling MW - Jamie Brown (49), Karim Ebrahim (85). Heanor Town - Jaylee Hodgson (26), Lee Askham (69).

Bookings: Gedling MW - Cory Nightingale (28, foul on Grayson), Matt Pebberday (90 foul on Grayson). Heanor Town - Lee Stevenson (14 ungentlemanly conduct), Ashley Grayson (62 foul on Cory Nightingale).

Star Lion: Phil Austin.