Heanor Town 0
Bridlington Town 7
NCEL League Cup
Paul Fraser, Brid’s popular substitute goalkeeper and team prankster, came off the bench as a striker and put the final nail in Heanor’s coffin with a late strike.
The home side played the majority of the game with ten men and although they gave a good account of themselves in the first half, they succumbed to the irrepressible Seasiders in the second.
With Tom Lee, Carl Stewart and Scott Phillips unavailable for the long midweek journey, Craig Palmer came into the side for his first game of the season, after featuring for Beverley Town, to regain match fitness and Paul Wray was on the bench for the first time since the game at Glasshoughton in early August. Chris Batchelor, who had not fully recovered from the injury sustained against Barton Town, made up the substitutes.
Town played down the slope in the first half but Heanor were the first to show when Kyle Bryant headed over from a cross by Gary Webster and Bryant screwed an effort wide when a partially cleared corner fell into his path.
Palmer, who was operating at left back with Eddie Cass on the right and Logan moving into midfield, played a pass beyond the defence for Hogg to hit a shot that was deflected behind by goalkeeper Damien Clark.
After twelve minutes came a defining moment when Lee Stevenson handled a shot from Hogg on the line. Referee Andrew Park from Lincoln immediately pointed to the spot and, applying the letter of the law, dismissed the unfortunate Heanor defender. Josh Greening, who had registered Town’s only successful penalty this season, took the kick but followed in the footsteps of Hogg and Nathan Cook by having it saved. Clark had not taken it cleanly and Greening followed up to try and take advantage but caught the goalkeeper in his efforts and was booked.
Heanor immediately hit back and leading scorer Benger, through on Mark Wilberforce, looked certain to score until a timely tackle from Aziz stopped him in his tracks.
Palmer found Hogg with a long ball and the striker saw his shot well saved. Heanor’s defence tended to play high up the pitch and after 21 minutes another ball over the top by Palmer was well controlled by Greening before he made up for his earlier miss by firing past Clark.
Greening tried to set up Cook but he fell victim to one of several offside decisions given against the visitors’ eager attack in the first half hour.
The hosts were threatening on the break and Chris Jenkinson was cautioned for unceremoniously stopping Stef Frost. Wilberforce caught a Nico Degirolano header from the free kick underneath the crossbar and then held a shot by Chris King down by his right hand post.
Cook went close to increasing the lead when he headed over from a cross by Palmer following a Logan free kick and just before the break a good move involving Ash Allanson, Cook and Hogg ended with the latter again being ruled offside.
Four minutes into the second half Cass, who had twice escaped punishment from the referee, was shown a yellow card for going in late on Kyle Bryant.
A free kick by Allanson from the right flank found Hogg on the opposite side and from his ball back into the middle Jenkinson headed against the bar.
With the extra man beginning to tell, however, the floodgates opened a minute later when Logan converted Greening’s pass from the left.
Hogg and Greening combined to give Fleming a sight of goal but he dragged his effort wide and after 56 minutes Hogg was again involved when Cook met his cross sweetly on the volley to send the ball across Clark into the far corner.
Adam Barratt replaced Frost as Heanor tried to salvage something but an attempt from 35 yards by former Staveley player Dwayne Wiley was well wide.
Two quick goals killed off any hope the hosts might have had when Logan volleyed in after 65 minutes then just two minutes on Palmer’s ball from the left found Hogg clear and although Clark got his hand to the ball he couldn’t prevent it from rolling over the line.
In the 72nd minute, with the home defence all over the place, Logan played the ball through to Hogg and despite his initial shot hitting the bar he followed up to plant the ball into an empty net.
Heanor never gave up and Wiley battled his way through with a good run before putting his effort narrowly wide then substitute Neil Grayson was closer when he took advantage of a mistake by Fleming and hit the side netting.
Greening saw his strike tipped round by Clark but within two minutes of Fraser replacing Hogg, who had a back problem, Greening played the ball back to Logan and although Clark saved from Logan, Fraser pounced to stroke the ball in. The substitute was so amazed by his success that he admitted later that he didn’t know what to do to celebrate.
In the final action Wiley put a back pass straight to Greening who went round Clark but was robbed of a second goal when Phil Austin stopped it on the line.