Gedling's pitch is usually in a pristine condition, but even the Riverside has suffered with the severe weather we have had recently - still there is plenty of grass on the pitch and it played well enough.
Gedling's line-up was relatively unchanged since the last time we saw the. Heanor had four ex-Eastwood Town U19 Academy players in their squad - Anthony Bedward, Callum Mason and Lee Stevenson were on the bench, with Liam Garner starting at no. 9. Mason looked a real prospect when he was with Eastwood, but failure to gain a first team place meant he felt he had to move to pastures new, and this is the first time I have seen him for a while.
The visitors began really well, forcing their high flying opponents onto the back foot and causing home keeper James Mason a few problems. They made the pressure pay on 12, a deflected shot from the edge of the box beating Mason at his left hand post. Maybe you could say the keeper should have done better, but the EMCL Mitoo website recorded this as an OG, so the deflection must have been more wicked than we thought.
Gedling striker Epps brought out a great save from Heanor keeper Sam Ogrizovic as Gedling looked to restore parity, but Heanor should have doubled their lead in the 28th minute - good wing play by Bobby Mawer saw him find Timmons on the penalty spot, but the striker fluffed his kick and Gedling cleared. Five minutes later the home team levelled the scores - making the missed Timmons chance even m ore painful! The goal was created by Heanor's no. 4 Ady Hawes - he tried to switch the play from left to right, but his wayward 40 yard crossfield pass fell kindly to Rob Gill who ran on and fired the ball in for strike partner GRAHAM EPPS to lash home at the far post.
Ogrizovic saved well from Jimmy Spiers as Gedling took control of the game, and I happened to mention to Kev that Heanor may crumble if Gedling get another - prophetic words indeed... H-T1-1
Probably because of my incessant criticism of Kev's coffee making skills, there was no flask today - decided to get our beverages from the snack bar - tea for Kev, coffee for me.
Three minutes into the second half, Gedling took the lead through AARON RYAN. With Ogrizovic off his line, Ryan looked up and launched the ball from 40+ yards straight over the keeper's head and into the back of the net. Great goal, and this was followed second later by another. Jack Davies played the ball into Rob Gill who flicked it over his shoulder straight onto the head of AARON LARGE - the winger made no mistake, looping his header over the keeper from 10 yards.
To their credit, Heanor did manage a couple of attacks, one effort by Garner forcing Mason into a diving save. They went further behind though on 64. Again Rob Gill involved, playing the ball into Luke Jennings. The sub mis-timed his shot, but the ball fell straight to the feet of GRAHAM EPPS who finished well.
Heanor keeper Sam Ogrizovic
It finished 6-1, but up until the ill-fated cross-field ball from Hawes, Heanor looked the better team and if Timmons had have took his chance, who knows?
Best Boatman was Aaron Large --- this lad never stops running. Great engine and what an eye for goal! Maybe a struggle for Gedling to keep him - he looks a really decent player.
Best Red - Bobbie Mawer
Attendance - 78
Entertainment - priceless
Footnote : floodlights were not used -- still enough natural daylight at 4:50pm....
Tuesday - bullet biting and wallet busting trip to Field Mill --- I still think that £16 is too much for non-league footie, but I have to answer to the call of the Mill occasionally!!