Gresley FC 1
Belper Town 0
Aaron Chapman’s unfortunate error in the last minute of Belper Town’s game at Gresley on Tuesday night left the Nailers still looking for a first league win of the season, and only goal difference keeps them out of bottom place in the league table.
While results are causing headaches for the Belper management team, performances are holding up relatively well.
However Peter Duffield has already gone on record as saying that too many chances are going begging.
This was certainly the case at the Moat Ground and the Nailers need to find an answer to the goal drought that is putting the dampeners on their hopes for this season.
Gresley have hauled themselves back to Evo-Stik Division level after a three-year absence and began the game at a fast pace with the Nailers indebted to Aaron Chapman for a brilliant save from a Marc Goodfellow free kick after five minutes.
One of three former Belper players, Dean Oliver, opened up the play with a 40-yard pass that Goodfellow hit first time and the ball sped just past the far post.
The Nailers weathered the early pressure and Andrew Siribour had Belper’s first chance in the 12th minute when he went clear on the left, but he screwed his shot wide of the near post.
Belper were slowly gaining the upper hand and, in the 25th minute, a quickly taken free-kick resulted in a Simon Harrison shot that fizzed just past the upright, and, as the Nailers grew in confidence, Steve Warne’s cross was met by Ashley Longstaff but his header came back off the cross bar.
Belper just about edged possession for the remainder of the first half and neither side produced a telling effort that troubled the keepers.
Ryan Mallon’s shot over the top ended a scrappy opening spell to the second period, and then, in the 60thh minute, great work from Simon Harrison in taking the ball off Jordi Gough was tempered when his attempt at beating the exposed Gary Hateley ended with his effort coming back off the upright.
Steve Warne’s follow-up effort was blocked on the line and then Ashley Longstaff couldn’t keep the rebound shot down, and he put a great chance over the top.
Karl Colley’s thumping clearance on 68 minutes gave Andrew Siribour a very presentable shooting opportunity but he wastefully struck the ball well wide of the target.
The Nailers kept up the pressure without any success in front of goal and the game looked to be drifting to a draw, but there was to be a shattering end to the game for Belper who had worked extremely hard all evening when Marc Goodfellow’s almost casual volley floated into the arms of Aaron Chapman.
It should have been a routine save for the Belper custodian but somehow he let it slip through his hands and before he could recover, the ball was over the line and Gresley had won the game.
Referee: H Karaivanvo (Sutton in Ashfield)