Heanor Town FC took a break from league action for a day to host Northern League outfit Dunston UTS in the FA Vase fourth round tie on Saturday.
With the highest attendance seen at The Town Ground this season all in high spirits after the warm up tie of Derby v Forest, the game began with both sets of supporters wanting to encourage their side on to success.
It is fair to say neither side got a foot hold of the game in the first half, Dunston certainly didn’t test Ian Deakin in the Heanor net although Heanor created a handful of chances to open the scoring.
Gary Ricketts rose high to head a cross towards goal on twenty eight minutes but only half connected as the ball was cleared to safety.
Two minutes later Sam Jones showed his neat footwork to beat two men before shooting with no real conviction into the hands of Liam Connell.
Shortly after Heanor earned another corner kick and Sean Gregory lurking on the edge of the box looked all ends up to score, however, avoiding a sliding tackle he rushed his shot only to see the ball crawl out of play for a goal kick.
Dunston changed formation slightly for the second period, moving an attacking player into midfield to counter the midfield dominance held by The Lions in the first half.
Andrew Bulford, the lone striker for Dunston, fired wide of goal on the hour mark, his shot nearly going for a throw in.
Shortly after, it was Burrell who headed a Halliday corner against the bar as Heanor held on under Dunston pressure.
Ricketts had a fantastic chance to put Heanor ahead on seventy one minutes, the pin point cross from Jones found his feet, the sharp turn and shot wasn’t powerful enough to beat Connell.
It was eighty minutes into the tie when the deciding goal came, a simple move from Dunston created space for Andrew Bulford to move into and make a dart towards goal, with a relaxed sidefoot under Ian Deakin it was settled.
Heanor tried in vain to get the equaliser with an effort from substitute Nathan Benger on eighty five minutes, his shot on the turn hitting the ankles of Connell as he gratefully dived on the ball.
This report undoubtedly fails to do the tie justice. The 396 in attendance witnessed an even match throughout, Dunston relying on their recent success and experience of the late stages to get their name into the fifth round of the draw. Dunston were graceful in victory and Heanor Town FC want to wish them all the luck in the next round.