Late Lions goal denies Town a point

Bridlington Town 1 Heanor Town 2
Bridlington Town 1 Heanor Town 2

Briidlington Town returned to Queensgate for the first time in almost a month, but found no home comforts against one of the league’s front-runners.

Fourth-placed Heanor arrived with a big, athletic side and a dangerous set of attackers, although the hosts looked like they had done enough to grind out a creditable draw.

Bridlington Town v Heanor Town

Bridlington Town v Heanor Town

But a ruthless piece of finishing in the last five minutes condemned the draw specialists to only their second league defeat of the season.

Heanor made the early running, with Courey Grantham’s shot swerving horribly in front of James Hitchcock who was happy to beat it away.

Grantham should have opened the scoring minutes later when a lovely pass from Gary Ricketts took left-back Shaun Day out of the game but Grantham chose to shoot first time with the outside of his boot and it drifted wide.

The Seasiders were without captain Tom Fleming and vice-captain Chris Jenkinson and their defence was finally breached on 19 minutes. Day’s poor defensive header from a left wing cross dropped straight to Daniel Booth and he looped a header over Hitchcock and into the net.

The wave of Heanor attacks continued and Kieran Debrouwer, who hit more than 50 goals last season, looked odds-on to double The Lions’ lead. Grantham’s pass evaded Hitchcock but Debrouwer hit the post from a narrow angle.

Ian Deakin made his first save on the half-hour mark when he got down well to stop Eddy Birch’s 20-yard shot at his right-hand post. He then gathered an attempt from even further out by Nathan White.

Bridlington were looking good in possession but they simply didn’t have the cutting edge that the visitors offered.

A second goal looked likely but Benn Lewis cleared off the line to deny Paolo Piliero and Ricketts headed over the bar from a left wing corner.

Chances were few and far between in the second half but The Seasiders knew that they still had a chance while it was only 1-0.

Chris Adams pulled a shot wide after a good spell of possession and he then saw another effort blocked after substitutes Jarrod Smalley and Craig Hogg combined.

Ricketts could have killed the game off but couldn’t get a touch on Grantham’s inviting cross and Brid made the most of their escape.

With 10 minutes left, Smalley delivered a cross from the right, Deakin and his defence got in a muddle and the ball dropped to Hogg who made no mistake.

Having worked so hard to get on level terms, it was a blow when Heanor regained the lead, seven minutes later.

Ricketts, at full stretch, diverted Debrouwer’s cross beyond Hitchcock and there was no way back for the hosts.

Rather than an equaliser, injury time brought an unnecessary 19-man flare up, after a spot of wrestling between Lewis and the match-winner, which resulted in yellow cards for Heanor’s Ricketts and Piliero.