ARNOLD TOWN 1
HEANOR TOWN 3
Heanor Town’s seventh away win of the season sent troubled Arnold Town into the relegation zone on Saturday with their third successive defeat.
In a match in which Heanor’s goal was rarely threatened, it was the 12th minute before the Lions had their first chance, Cooper-Richards crossing and Arnold’s Corrigan conceding a corner from the lurking Benger.
Two minutes later, Benger chased what seemed a lost cause down the right and crossed the ball. The Arnold defence scrambled the ball away to the edge of the penalty area where Jordan Hall thumped his shot into the bottom corner.
Both sides struggled to get a grip of the game in the chilly conditions and chances were few and far between.
Within two minutes of the restart, Arnold had made two substitutions, one of which included former Heanor player Danny O’Donnell coming into the attack.
But the Eagles found themselves two down on the hour when Benger’s powerful shot was deflected into the path of Jason Foster, who scored from an acute angle. It was the deserved goal the Lions had been searching for.
Arnold stole a goal back in the 66th minute. In one of their few forays forward, they managed to find another former Lions, Ricky Gardner, who played just 45 minutes for Heanor last season, and he planted the ball into the bottom corner.
The Eagles made another substitution in order to push more players forward but it did not prove fruitful as Heanor enjoyed their most dominant spell of the game.
Benger had a chance to grab his coveted 100th goal for the club. Taking the ball on the volley with his back to goal, he spun and shot for the top corner.
But impressive home goalkeeper Danny Marshall made the save of the match to deny the top marksman.
Jason Foster, playing in an unfamiliar position in the right of midfield, took his second goal of the game in style. Benger chased another ball down the left in the 86th minute, crossing to Foster who placed the ball into the top corner.
Heanor’s big away following immediately exploded into song knowing that the result was now safe.
Referee Andy Park added three minutes on at the end before bringing the encounter, which had strong tackles and skilful attacking play, to a conclusion. It was testament to the performance of both sides and also the referee that neither side had a player cautioned.
TEAM: Clark, Bryant, Austin, Kellogg, Wiley, De Girolamo, Foster, Clarke, Benger, Cooper-Richards (Grayson 72), Hall (Frost 72). Substitutes not used – Webster, Fields, Stevenson.
Photo by Paul Morley