MATCH REPORT: Bedworth United 3-6 Heanor Town

Bedworth exit from the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round as The Greenbacks fall to Step 5 side Heanor Town.

With the weather mirroring a wet afternoon in December, The Greenbacks started their 2023/24 season with an FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round tie against step 5 side Heanor Town.

Stuart Storer introduced summer signings Niall Rowe, Nuno Gomes, Ashley Sammons, Will Grocott and Leo Stone into the starting line up.

Bedworth’s first chance came from a set piece in the 10th minute. A training ground routine led to Grocott drilling the ball low into the box for Rowe to run onto and hit but Heanor’s keeper was there to push away for another corner.

Moments later, Bedworth nearly took the lead. Some nice play on the left between Rowe, Grocott and Stone, resulted in a great in swinging cross from Stone which just evaded Nuno Gomes at the back post.

However, it was The Lions that took the lead on the 16th minute. A mistake from Luke Rowe let full back Bart Korzeneiwski in down the right hand side. The full back cut in on his weaker foot and swung a shot with his left foot which deflected off Elliot Parrott and past Sam Lomax. 0-1.

The Greenbacks could have levelled 3 minutes later. A lovely through ball from Leo Stone put Nuno Gomes through one on one with the keeper but Heanor keeper Alex Graham got down to his left well and parried out of danger for The Lions.

With The Greenbacks dominating they needed a goal for their hard work. And Bedworth equalised on the 26th minute. Bedworth managed to find some space on the counter attack and Grocott spread the ball wide to Leo Stone who cut in from the left and shaped a great shot into the far corner with Graham only able to get fingertips to it.

2 Minutes later Bedworth took the lead. Rich Blythe put in another dangerous cross  which found Nuno Gomes again but this time he converted as the ball was bundled in from a couple of yards out.

Bedworth were really finding another gear half an hour into the game and were awarded a penalty on the 32nd minute. Some good combination play down the left mean that Murphy could drive directly at the defender and Ryan Tinsley couldn’t handle Murphy’s pace and brought the young forward down. Grocott stepped up and hit his penalty bottom right but was brilliantly saved by Alex Graham.

On the brink of Half time, another error from The Greenbacks nearly resulted in Heanor equalising. A poor back pass from Sammons was too short for Lomax and The Lions’ number 9 Sasha Markelic was sent through on goal, but Lomax stood tall and made great save down to his left side. Luke Rowe was there with a great sliding tackle to deny a rebound from Sam Lomax’s save to bring an end to an entertaining half at The Oval. With Coventry City goalkeeping legend Steve Ogrizovic in attendance, he would have been proud of Lomax’s save.

Half Time- Bedworth United 2-1  Heanor Town

2 minutes into the start of the second half Heanor levelled. Another misplaced pass from Simmons gave the visitors plenty of space to pick out winger Jack Taylor who picked out the bottom corner to make it 2-2.

But The Greenbacks weren’t level for long as Liam Murphy made it 3-2 on 52 minutes. A through ball that was hit in the channel was chased and harried by new signing Nuno Gomes and he did brilliant to out muscle the defender and square the ball to Murphy who tapped in from 6 yards.

But the game was turned on its head again on the hour mark as Heanor scored their third of the afternoon to level things up. A long throw from the right was knocked on to the far post and was headed in by Sasha Markelic.

5 Minutes later, Sasha Markelic doubled his tally and made it 4-3 to the visitors. A nice pass and move phase of play, gave Markelic enough space to get his shot away and squirmed over the line as Lomax couldn’t get enough on the ball.

On the 75th minute, out of nothing Markelic got his hat trick. A long ball over the top held up in the wind for Sasha to shrug off Cox and strike a half volley from outside the area and whistled past Lomax in the Bedworth goal. 3-5.

Heanor sealed the game with 5 minutes to go. Captain Kieron Debouwer held the ball up , chested it down and volleyed past Lomax to make it 3-6 in a game where Bedworth had looked the better side for much of the game but The Greenbacks just couldn’t capitalise on key moments and kill the game off.

The referee blew the final whistle and Heanor progress to the next round of the FA cup. The game started so well for The Greenbacks but ends in disappointment where a penalty miss and individual mistakes cost Bedworth dearly.

Bedworth start their league campaign next weekend away against Shepshed Dynamo , where The Greenbacks will hope to start the league season well.

Full time- Bedworth United 3-6  Heanor Town

STARTING LINE UP:

Bedworth: Lomax (Davies), Moore, Rowe (yellow), Parrott, Rowe, Blythe(Cox), Nuno Gomes, Sammons (Blackmore), Murphy, Grocott, Stone.

Unused subs: Endall, Edjenguele,

Attendance: 182

MOTM: Nuno Gomes