Ashby Ivanhoe's incredible comeback falls short after late defeat in nine-goal thriller

By Josh Kay

15th Oct 2023 | Local Sport

Ashby missed out late on at Heanor. Photo: Kallum Brisset
Ashby missed out late on at Heanor. Photo: Kallum Brisset

Heanor Town 5 Ashby Ivanhoe 4

Ashby fell short of one of the comebacks of the season as Heanor struck a devastating late blow on the counter attack to snatch three points.

Attacking down the slope in the first half, Heanor picked Andy Gray's men apart several times and through a combination of clinical finishing and poor defending, found themselves 3-0 up inside 16 minutes.

Will Robson provided the away fans with the first half's only moment of hope as he saw his shot from the edge of the box fumbled into the net by stand-in goalkeeper Max Thornberry, his only blemish in an excellent performance between the sticks. 

Heanor struck back almost immediately however and stunningly added a fourth inside the opening half hour.

Top scorer Nikolas Markelic saw his shot saved by Taylor; however, it was Keaton August who reacted quickest to slam home at the back post.

Attacking downhill after the break, Ivanhoe reaped the benefits that their opponents had in the first half and had one back in the first 10 minutes of the half as Tolani Omotola headed in from close range as Heanor failed to clear the setpiece. 

With momentum fully in their opponent's favour, Heanor appeared to panic and looked vulnerable for much of the half. 

Capitalising on a dreadful attempted back pass, Omotola ran through and poked past Thornberry to cut the deficit to one. 

The next 20 minutes saw the only period of the game without constant goalmouth action. The only real chance coming as Joel Carta fired a well struck shot from distance which needed saving from Thornberry who got fingertips on the ball to turn it over the crossbar. 

Carta was not to be denied though and appeared to get the visitors at least a point, arriving at the back post to fire into the empty net with less than 10 minutes to play.

Crucially however, Ivanhoe were short on defenders after making attacking changes while chasing the game, and a rejuvenated Heanor were able to break away in the 87th minute and strike the final blow as Markelic beat Taylor one on one.

Ivanhoe have suffered multiple late defeats on the road this season, but always relied on their strong home form to bounce back, and will be hoping to do the same next week as they host Belper United in the FA Vase.


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