Sleaford prove too good for Heanor

​Sleaford Town fought their way to a deserved 3-2 victory over Heanor Town on Saturday afternoon in an enthralling United Counties League encounter at the Longwater Stadium.
Sebastian Robbemond heads home the opening goal against Heanor. Photo: Steve W Davies Photography.Sebastian Robbemond heads home the opening goal against Heanor. Photo: Steve W Davies Photography.
Sebastian Robbemond heads home the opening goal against Heanor. Photo: Steve W Davies Photography.

The Greens twice took the lead and twice gave it away during a topsy-turvy encounter at Eslaforde Park with Sebastian Robbemond and Kyle Watkins goals twice cancelled out by goals from the lively Keaton August.

With the game poised at 2-2 though, the decisive blow was struck when Ryan Lennon was on hand to tap home Akeel Francis’ cross at the far post and ultimately claim the Greens three important points.

The Greens could have led inside the first five minutes when effective closing down from Ryan Lennon forced a mistake from Lions keeper Louis Kinnerley, but he was quick to recover and produced a fine save at close range to save his embarrassment.

The Greens had continued to push on, Akeel Francis heading straight into Kinnerley’s hands, then Liam Flitton was called into meaningful action for the first time to deny Sacha Markelic who’d sprung the Greens offside trap.

Back at the other end and Kinnerley produced a stunning diving save to tip Akeel Francis’ drive over the bar after he’d been set up by Lewis Daff – but it was from the resulting Ryan Flitton corner that the Greens grabbed the advantage – Sebastian Robbemond heading home Gregg Smith’s set-up at close range to put the Greens ahead.

Heanor were level in simple fashion in the 25th minute when Lewis Weaver headed Kinnerley’s punt forward into the path of Keaton August who was on hand to volley expertly beyond Flitton.

It was the Greens though who hit the front again in the second-half when Kyle Watkins was on hand to power home Tristan Drummond’s corner.

Heanor’s Sasha Markelic then crashed the post with a well-struck freekick before he was denied again ten minutes later, this time by the hands of Flitton. The Lions pressure did eventually pay off though and they were level again in the 72nd minute when Keaton August was again on hand to collect up Josh Craddock’s dinked pass and slot calmly beyond Flitton and level the contest.

The Greens’ response was instantaneous though when, from the kick-off, Francis broke free and squared for Ryan Lennon to tap home the winner.

Sleaford host Ashby Ivanhoe this weekend.