There was a deep sense of disappointment as the Nailers trooped off the field following the defeat against Deeping Rangers last Saturday as for the third year running, Belper lost to lower league opposition in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup.
Whilst there isn’t the cringing embarrassment associated with last season’s debacle at home to local rivals Holbrook Sports, nevertheless the impact on the club both in morale and financial terms is considerable.
Manager Tommy Taylor was confident before the game that his side would do well, but again emphasised that once the players crossed the white line, the rest was essentially up to them.
In this respect they let him down and let a modest Deeping outfit steal two goals out of very little and misfire badly in most areas of the field.
Taylor was clearly unhappy about the result particularly after letting the opportunity of a replay slip following Ben Spargo’s excellently taken equaliser.
“Missed chances and basic defensive errors cost us to day”, bemoaned Taylor, “We weren’t at our best that’s for sure, we had enough opportunities to win the game but at the moment we just can’t finish.”
“They caught us on the break for the first goal and immediately we were on the back foot, then in the second half we looked better but just couldn’t make our chances count,” he added.
“We got ourselves back in the game and I could see a winner coming, then we couldn’t clear the ball, let it bounce twice and the lad banged it in. Very disappointing.”
It was certainly in contrast to Bank Holiday Monday’s stirring victory over Ilkeston when the Nailers battled really hard against a strong Robins outfit.
Two goals from Lee Morris and a penalty punished Kevin Wilson’s side who had chances of their own but for once good fortune was on the Nailers’ side and Belper fully deserved their win.
The Nailers went into the game without Ruben Wiggins-Thomas who has sustained a knee injury and may need a scan to sort it out.
Luke Fedorenko has had his scan and awaits the outcome and although it is thought that an operation won’t be needed to resolve the injury, until an expert analysis of the results is completed a date for his return to training can’t be determined.
Rob Ludlam and Liam Davis, who have struggled to challenge successfully for a first team place are likely to be placed out on loan to gain match fitness.
The Nailers are back in league action this weekend when they entertain Grantham Town at Christchurch Meadow and then travel to Sutton Coldfield on Tuesday, September 13.