Heanor weathered a late Highgate storm at the Town Ground on Saturday to register a 3-2 win in the Midlands Football League Premier Division.
Goals from Greg Marriott, Elliot Reeves and Sam Vickers gave the Lions the share of the spoils against an Highgate side that clawed their way back to set up a tense finale.
It started so well for Heanor who went ahead on six minutes through Marriott. Reeves the architect on the right-hand side with an excellent reverse pass for Marriott to slot in.
Vickers had his first sight of goal soon after, but his shot was straight at the opposing keeper, before the same man got in behind the Highgate defence but couldn’t find Reeves with the cross for a tap in.
Home debutant Danny Gordon nearly doubled Heanor’s lead but his effort flew just over from 20 yards and Vickers saw his powerful strike tipped away as the hosts went in search of a second before the break.
The visitors felt they had a strong appeal for a penalty turned away five minutes into the second half by the man in the middle. They found the back of the net on the hour-mark but the referee disallowed it for a foul on a Heanor defender.
Heanor needed a goal and it duly came through Reeves who tucked Gordon’s through ball past the keeper. But their two-goal cushion was short-lived as Highgate pulled one back through Richard Bryan after Heanor fail to clear a corner.
Equally poor defending at the other end saw Vickers pounce but Highgate responded again, this time through Arron Brown, after another failure to clear a corner.
Highgate went in search of a late equaliser and came close three times to snatching a point; a shot narrowly wide, one cleared off the line and Brown heading fractionally past the post seven minutes into added time.
But Heanor held on for the win.
Heanor: Beddingham, Marriott, Oliver, Craddock, Roulston, Hall, Naylor, Gordon, Reeves, Vickers, Lee