Sam's the man for Sleaford as hat-trick downs Heanor

Sam Wright netted an all-important treble as The Greens made a return to the United Counties League Premier Division North top five with a gritty 3-2 victory over Heanor Town.

Sam Wright (no.17) gets up to head home one of Sleaford's goals on Saturday. Photo: Steve W Davies Photography.
Sam Wright (no.17) gets up to head home one of Sleaford's goals on Saturday. Photo: Steve W Davies Photography.

The Greens were pushed all the way by a dogged Heanor side who on another day may have felt they were worthy of a point under the Longwater lights.

The Greens were much the better side throughout most of the first period and were in front on 24 minutes when Wright beat his namesake – Heanor keeper Myles Wright – to a lofted ball over the top, leaving him with the simple task of slotting the ball into an empty net.

It was two just a minute later when Wright was on hand again, this time nodding home Joe Butler’s brilliant cross from the left-hand side.

The away side responded though and Bart Korzeniewski swept a wonderful effort in off the post to half the arrears just before the break, but with the Lions on top in the opening exchanges of the second half keeper Wright made another fatal error, missing his kick from a back pass allowing Sleaford’s Wright to walk the ball into the net to sew up his hat-trick.

There was still time though for Korzeniewski to get Heanor back into the contest for a second time, but despite plenty of late pressure, the Greens stood firm to return to the winning trail in the league.

Player-boss Tom Ward said of his hat-trick man’s display afterwards: “I thought he was a constant threat, his pace was a serious issue for them and his quality as well to stop and chop and not only that, but arrive at the back post for his headers and things like that.

"I thought it was a very complete performance from a young man who has had to bide his time, and with Jacob Fenton being out, he has taken his chance.

“We’ve done really well today as a group. We’ve asked different questions compared to what we’ve been asking recently. The boys have done great, those lads that are out missing are big players for us but the lads that probably don’t expect to play every week are really stepping up and that will make selection hard as we get more back.”

The Greens visit top-of-the-table and unbeaten Loughborough Students on Saturday.