Rainworth Miners Welfare 0-2 Heanor Town
Lions win in Martin's first game in charge
Dan Martin’s reign as Heanor manager got off to a winning start as a dominant performance ensured the Lions came away with all three points on the opening day of the 2018-2019 East Midlands Counties season.
Heanor were on top from the first whistle, some neat play saw Kyle Daley through on goal and rather than shoot, he elected to pass to Evan Cawley, whose shot was blocked and Rainworth escaped.
The Lions were knocking on the door again moments later. Rob Ritchie-Smith’s weighted through ball found Oliver Roome who took the ball in his stride before finding the side netting.
The Ritchie-Smith-Roome duo was again causing problems for Rainworth’s defence. After the two connected, Roome shot just wide from inside the area.
The Lions’ cause was aided when Nick Labbate was sent off for dissent shortly before half-time.
Heanor’s pressure paid off as they managed to make the breakthrough in first half stoppage time. Rainworth failed to clear a cross into the area and the ball fell to captain Danny Chatfield who rifled the ball into the bottom corner.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first, with the Lions looking for a second goal which would all but end the contest.
Ritchie-Smith nearly found that killer goal shortly after the restart, forcing a smart save out of the Rainworth ‘keeper before Roome put the rebound wide.
It was beginning to look like Oliver Roome wouldn’t get on the scoresheet. His smart turn on the edge of the area beat his marker and his shot smashed against the crossbar and out for a goal kick.
The second goal did arrive 15 minutes from time, however. Substitute Matt Harris’s low cross was turned into his own net by Rainworth captain Jacob Lowe.
It was no more than the Lions deserved and they could’ve added more with Sam Griffiths and Josh Craddock missing good opportunities.