Market Drayton stole the show at Christchurch Meadow on Saturday afternoon, taking all three points against a Belper Town side who struggled to get to grips with their opponents on the day.
An unfortunate Phil Watt own goal proved to be the decisive factor over the course of the 90 minutes, in a game which offered very little in comparison to the performances seen over the last month from those in yellow.
However, there are no signs of panic stations by those connected to the club as the Nailers currently sit in a very healthy fourth position in the Evo-Stik League Division One South.
Manager Peter Duffield labelled his side’s performance as ‘unacceptable’. However, he raised the point that momentum will not be halted by one bad result.
“We didn’t deserve much out of the game. We created enough chances at the end to get something, but we came away with nothing and that was probably a fair reflection on the performance.
“The team looked nervous, laboured and never really came out of first gear, which surprised me from the encouraging warm-up and the attitude of the players beforehand, which was spot on.”
He noted, “It was astounding not to get a decision when Jon Froggatt rounded the goalkeeper and was fouled, and we’ve had a handful of rightful appeals turned down at home this season. I’m hoping we begin to get a little luck of our own in the run in to the end of the season now.”
“What’s important is we don’t turn this into a crisis. Although it wasn’t good enough, it is one bad result and the first in a while. The players have been excellent this season, and on the whole the performance level has been very good.
“We have had off days, and this was one of them, but what has impressed me so far is the way the players have responded to that, and that’s what I’m now looking for next week against Halesowen.”
He concluded, “We are the second highest goal scorers in the league, we have the third best goal difference and we have the top goal scorer in the league in Jon Froggatt.
“This is a very exciting time to be a part of this club and I hope that everybody is aiming to take the positives out of Saturday’s’ result and not the negatives. I am very proud of my record since taking over at the football club, with a win percentage of 59 per cent, and I am always working hard to try and make sure I improve that.”
The defeat was only the Nailers’ second loss in 14 league games since December, and one hopes that such a record can go on to be bettered by the close of the season.
The next game comes away from home against table-toppers Halesowen Town on Saturday (March 8), kicking off at 3pm.