Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Heanor Town 4-3 Radford FC

Wednesday 10th November 2010 -- EMCL

Late change of game - we were supposed to be at the Carlton v Leek Town game, but when Kev and Heanor keeper Mark Frost had both offered £5 apiece should Frosty keep his 4th consecutive clean sheet, we just had to be there! Good friends Phil Mumby, Chris and Carol Daglish were also present - although I haven't known this trio for long, they are great company and always seem to make both me and the Daft Lad smile a lot! Also, their donations to our Charity are always welcome -- another £5 from Phil and £3 from pressure on them at all to donate -- words fail me sometimes!!

Name check time: apart from the "South Normanton Three", we were greeted in the ground by "Tall-Lad" Chris - then we met up with Danny Staley, Simon Matters, Mr. Mac, Tony Squires and, always a pleasure - Rob and Caroline Whitehead.

Football: the reason for this gathering was not just social, there was a game of football to be played. High flying Town had lost just two of their previous 13 starts so far this season, while Radford had only won two of their 10 prior outings. So, should be a fairly one-way affair? Don't you believe it, the visitors were every bit as good as their hosts on the night, but the football Gods can sometimes be a cruel bunch!

The game was fairly quiet for the first quarter of an hour or so, then Town's Gary Webster made a forceful run down the right before crossing into the box to where NATHAN BENGER was waiting at the far post to fire past Radford keeper Darren Lycett.

A rash challenge by Martin Smith soon after, deprived Heanor of their play-maker Ashley Grayson and earned the centre-back a caution. Grayson had to be physically carried from the pitch as no-one could locate a stretcher!

The Heanor faithful were crying for SMITH to be dismissed, but the big defender added insult to injury (!) in the 21st minute as he managed to prod the ball past Frost from close range to level the scores. So no clean sheet fiver for the charity, but now we had a real game on our hands.

Heanor went back in front some 60 seconds from the restart. Benger's superb ball found RYAN CANCELLARA on the edge of the box and he smashed the ball past Lycett before the big keeper could react. On 34, the scores were level thanks to a well taken penalty from STANNARD, and then 3 minutes later and much to the home fans dismay, the visitors took the lead after the usually reliable Frost failed to hold onto a tame shot, leaving LEVENE a simple close-range tap in. H-T 2-3
Kev volunteered to get the beverages at half-time, small styrofoam cup, but very welcome apparently - I didn't bother, it was too cold to take my hands out of my pockets!

The second half was fairly even, with Radford easily able to cope with each Heanor attempt to press forward. As the game entered the final quarter of an hour, and with the Radford legs looking a little tired, the home support was getting restless and the home team were desperately looking to avoid being on the wrong end of a shock defeat.

Step forwad sub LEE ASKHAM - he collected the ball from Phil Austin before weaving his way into the area and firing a great shot past Lycett. Huge sighs of relief from the home faithful, and hope renewed that the Lions could still grab all three points.

Heanor's DAN WILLIAMS would have to admit to himself that he'd had a poor game, but the striker was "Jonny-on-the-spot" on 87, finding room inside the area and rifling home after Frost's huge clearance had been played in to him by Askham. The cheers from the Heanor fans were as enthusiastic as you would expect, but the celebrations on the pitch went to an extra level!

All the Heanor players piled on top of Williams and the result was an injury that saw him having to be replaced! Talk about "the agony and the ecstasy" - Dan experienced both in a few short seconds!! I suspect that the Town management team will be having a quiet word, and I think the players may think twice in future before celebrating a goal in this fashion.......F-T 4-3

The scoreline suggests that this was a close game, and it was. You have to feel for everyone involved with Radford Football Club - they must be absolutely gutted to come away from the Town Ground with nothing - but if they can show the same spirit as they showed in this game over the rest of the season, I can't see any reason why they shouldn't pick up enough points to ensure they keep their EMCL status.

Admission £5
Programme - sold out
Attendance 81 - although I counted more than 100 without trying too hard...
Tea £0.50 and very nice apparently

Saturday - Sutton T AFC v Kirkby, but it depends what games survive the monsoons!!

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