Top of table clash ends in a goalless stalemate

East Midlands Counties

Premier Division

Borrowash Victoria 0

Heanor Town 0

THE last ten minutes were undoubtedly the best of a dour encounter between these two title contenders in a game which drew Borrowash’s best gate of the season but did not live up to its billing.

Injuries are beginning to bite as Heanor move to within four games of the end of the season. And these are not helped by the unavailability of striker Dave Moon for the rest of the campaign.

James Whitehead limped out of the game on 32 minutes, Nathan Benger on 69. and both Dan Williams and Lee Stevenson were struggling at the end.

On a dry and very bobbly pitch, a poor surface indeed for a game of this magnitude, Borrowash created the first chance on four minutes when Piliero lobbed over the bar.

After which the big crowd were treated to little in the form of goalmouth action as both defences looked strong and the pitch against any attempts to play the ball along the ground.

The sum total of the first half hour was a Karl Demidh shot from distance which flew high over the bar at one end, and Danny Tollerfield coming way out of his area to deny Gary Webster at the other.

The remained of the first half belonged to Borrowash and Heanor were saved by Lee Stevenson on 32 minutes when he headed Nick Ghislanzoni’s far post goal bound header off the line from Piliero’s cross.

Heanor defended well against the Vics pressure and both Wells and Webster made good runs but failed to test Tollerfield.

Seven minutes into the second half only a brilliant tackle by Brett Peel saved Demidh racing clear to open the scoring. The rest of the game then belonged mostly to Heanor.

Cancellara’s free kick was headed out to Stevenson whose shot flew wide from distance and a splendid cross from Phil Austin was just missed at the far post.

Having lost Whitehead earlier in the game, Heanor now lost Benger who looked to be struggling for much of the game. But the key to the final session was not the loss of the Lions leading scorer, but the way Austin suddenly became more prominent going forward and his supply of the ball to Wells saw the pair of them take the game to Borrowash.

One such raid ended with Cancellara shooting narrowly wide before Heanor’s joint manager Glenn Kirkwood said something untoward to the match officials and was sent off for the second time this season.

Referee Jackson, who generally had a poor games by his high standards, said afterwards that Kirkwood’s remarks were totally out of character of Heanor’s game as not one of the Lions players had shown any kind of dissent at all during the course of the game.

Indeed, Heanor’s on-field disciplinary record this season must, without any shadow of doubt, be one of the best in the league – if not the best.

Stevenson was a foot wide with a blistering free kick from the edge of the area as Heanor kept up the pressure and Williams had a similar kick blocked as Borrowash began to look rugged and lose their cool with Joe Kellogg lucky not to see yellow for a foul which left Stevenson hobbling, but brother Thom did for bringing down Wells in full flight.

As the game ran into stoppage time Pawley swivelled to shoot wide in a rare Vics attack, Williams raced clear at the other end only for Tollerfield to block and Naughton to fire the loose ball high over an unguarded goal.

Then Austin and Wells again combined well for the latter to fire in a low cross which Williams deflected just wide. But Heanor couldn’t find a winner.

Match stats

Borrowash Victoria: Danny Tollerfield, David Leigh, Luke Garton, Thom Kellogg, Andrew Mottershaw, Joe Kellogg, Nick Ghislanzoni (Lee Sutton 73), Sam Kellogg, Jamie Pawley, Karl Demidh (Nick Hewer 79), Paulo Piliero.

Substitutes not used – Brett Adams, Wayne Thornhill, Richard Hankey.

Heanor Town: Mark Frost, James Whitehead (Richard Hodgman 32), Phil Austin, Ryan Cancellara, Brett Peel, Lee Stevenson, Gary Webster, Ash Grayson, Nathan Benger (Lee Naughton 69), Dan Williams, Graham Wells. Substitutes not used – Lee Askham, Jamie Gee-Pemberton, Danny Cox.

Referee: Robert Jackson (Sutton-in-Ashfield)

Attendance: 302

Yellow cards: Borrowash Victoria: Andrew Mottershaw (foul on Benger) 28 minutes, Karl Demidh (dissent) 45 minutes, Thom Kellogg (foul on Wells) 89 minutes.

Star Lion: Lee Stevenson

Next in action

Saturday April 23 - East Midlands Counties League - Radcliffe Olympic v HEANOR TOWN, 3pm.

Reserves, no game.

Easter Monday, April 25 - East Midlands Counties League - HEANOR TOWN v Holbrook Sports, 3pm.

Reserves no game.