Heanor’s strike pair run riot as Town crumble

Heanor Town 5 Bridlington Town 1
Heanor Town 5 Bridlington Town 1

A mauling in the Lions’ den brought an end to Bridlington Town’s run of four consecutive wins.

Heanor’s prolific goal scorers Nathan Benger and Kieran Debrouwer had only managed one goal each in previous encounters against the Seasiders’ but they made up for lost time by sharing all five on this occasion.

Heanor Town 5 Bridlington Town 1. Pictures by Paul Morley.

Heanor Town 5 Bridlington Town 1. Pictures by Paul Morley.

Town made the long journey to Heanor less than 48 hours after winning through to East Riding Senior Cup Final with a 3-2 victory against Westella VIP.

Gary Allanson brought in Will Waudby, Ash Allanson and Lewis Poucher to replace Danny Brunton, Conner Harman and Craig Hogg.

Chances were created at both ends in the opening exchanges with Nick Hall heading wide of the Bridlington goal from a corner and Benger having a shot deflected behind by Alex Knaggs, while Ruhanduka’s effort went well wide and Tom Fleming’s low shot was straight at goalkeeper Ian Deakin.

Debrouwer made two attempts on goal but James Hitchcock was equal to both and a promising Town move ended with Poucher being caught offside..

Heanor Town 5 Bridlington Town 1. Pictures by Paul Morley.

Heanor Town 5 Bridlington Town 1. Pictures by Paul Morley.

After edging the opening half hour, it all went wrong for the visitors in a manic five-minute spell when the Lions raced into a three-goal lead to deflate their opponents.

In the 31st minute Benger’s speculative effort from over 30 yards went over Hitchcock to open the scoring.

Heanor were then awarded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area when the ball shot up off the surface and hit Eddy Birch on the hand.

Fortunately the kick came to nothing but after 34 minutes Benger threaded the ball through a hesitant defence to Debrouwer who finished with a low drive past Hitchcock to score his first ever goal against Town from open play.

Only another two minutes elapsed before a Sean Gregory effort hit the post and with the Town defence in disarray Benger struck the ball home from eight yards for his second goal.

Hitchcock prevented a fourth goal by blocking a Debrouwer attempt.

The nearest the visitors came to reducing the arrears in the first half was from a Chris Adams attempt that was cleared from inside the six-yard box by Sean Gregory and a shot from Benn Lewis was deflected wide by Heanor skipper Chris Shaw.

On the resumption the Seasiders’ were playing down the slope with the wind behind them and were looking for an instant response but Waudby saw his shot on the turn from the edge of the area held by Deakin.

Four minutes after the restart Town’s resistance was broken for a fourth time when an attempted clearance by Lewis was charged down by Debrouwer who then fired the ball over Hitchcock from the left side of the area.

The Seasiders’ brought on Jarrod Smalley in place of Poucher but they were making too many mistakes and from another mix-up in defence Hitchcock managed to deflect a Debrouwer effort behind for a corner.

Not to be outdone, Debrouwer completed his hat trick on the hour when he went round Knaggs before slotting the ball home.

Three minutes later a Lewis corner was played on by Ash Allanson to substitute Craig Hogg who hooked the ball past Deakin from the edge of the penalty area for a consolation goal.

A break from the back earned Town a corner that the home defence scrambled clear and a ball in from the left went across the Heanor area without any player able to get a touch.

Deakin saved with his legs from Smalley following an interchange between Fleming and Hogg and a header from Heanor substitute Oliver Naylor was well saved by Hitchcock.

In the closing minutes Town created two more openings but were unable to add to their score and now they have four league games left, three against teams in the bottom five, in which to try and rediscover their form before going on to the KC Stadium on 11 May.

On Saturday, Town are at home to Armthorpe Welfare, kick off 3pm.

Team: 1 Hitchcock, 2 Lewis (17 Nicholls 85), 3 W Waudby, 4 Allanson, 5 Knaggs, 6 Jenkinson, 7 Ruhanduka, 8 Fleming (c), 9 Poucher (15 Smalley 51), 10 Adams (16 Hogg 59), 11 Birch

Attendance: 153