A HUGE wave of relief greeted Belper Town’s 5-1 win over Market Drayton when everything seemed to fall into place after a barren spell that had yielded hardly any goals let alone league points.
It takes some believing, but this was the Nailers’ first home league success since they put five past Spalding United on November 13, and their first goals since Ruben Wiggins-Thomas scored against Quorn almost five games ago.
There were signs that Belper were returning to something like their normal selves against league leaders Barwell the previous week, and it all came together in the second half last Saturday.
There was however a feeling of de ja vu after only three minutes against Market Drayton when they took the lead out of the blue after the Nailers had made a good start to the game.
The ever-reliable Jon Froggatt where would Belper be without him this season?), restored parity with a goal in the 32nd minute and from then on things turned the Nailers’ way.
Paris Simmons provided the real turning point with a super quality strike 20 minutes into the second half then Darryl Thomas’ clinical finish 60 seconds later put the visitors well and truly on the ropes.
A quality finish from Froggatt, his 23rd of the season took the tension out of the game and surprise signing Luke Fedorenko scored to round off a pleasing afternoon for all associated with the Nailers.
The result came as a great relief to manager Andy Carney who has found the going difficult since he announced his intention to step down at the end of the season, and he will now be hoping that his team’s form will see them through Tuesday’s President’s Cup final against Lancaster City.
He said: “It was a good performance from us, particularly as we went a goal down so soon after the start and I was proud of the players and the effort they put in to turn it around.
“We have plenty of talent in our squad and all that’s been missing has been belief in ourselves, and I saw positive signs in the Barwell game that we have started to do that and I hope we can get some more points on the board from the remaining games.”
Three points pushed the Nailers back into 12th place in the table, a position they have occupied for much of the time recently and with just six league games left, two at home and four away, it would be fitting end to Carney’s tenure if they can at least finish in the top ten by the end of the season.
Luke Fedorenko’s re-appearance came as a big surprise to everyone as he had appeared to have been discarded by the management in January.
Carney added: “There wasn’t any ill feeling between us. At the time we thought it was best if we parted company and Luke had the opportunity to try his luck at Stocksbridge.
“He rang me to see if he could come back so I thought he would be a useful acquisition, particularly as he now seems to have straightened out his approach towards the game.”
Fedorenko’s ability has never been in doubt although his application and attitude had previously been questionable, however Andy Carney saw sufficient change in his character to bring him back to Christchurch Meadow and a last minute dash was required by club secretary Dave Laughlin to secure his signature minutes before the March 13 deadline.
Fedorenko’s goal went some way to repaying the confidence and trust Andy Carney has put in to him, and he may just be the player to help boost the Nailers’ run in.
Speculation on new chairman
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