All-square for the Nailers in a thrilling 3-3 draw

Action from Belper Town's draw with Scarborough Athletic ''Photo by Martin Dowey
Action from Belper Town's draw with Scarborough Athletic ''Photo by Martin Dowey

A pulsating 90 minutes between two attacking teams ended in an exciting stalemate come the final whistle, with chances for both sides to win it near the end.

The game began in frantic style with both sides creating chances with their first attacks.

The Nailers hit Scarborough for six with an opening goal seven minutes in. A throw-in was played in for Mark Ward, who produced a looping cross for Jon Froggatt to drive in a header towards the far post, beyond the keeper.

Scarborough reacted well to going behind with measured football. They almost found a fast reply when a throw from the left was aimed in for Jimmy Beadle who turned, letting the ball run across his path to delightfully create half a yard for himself, and smashed a dipping half volley inches over the bar.

The Nailers doubled their advantage on the 15th minute as Scarborough failed to clear another cross. This time it was a corner driven in low by Simon Harrison. Dan White headed the first ball which was saved well by Jason White, only for Phil Watt to poke home Belper’s second.

After a perfect 20 minutes for Duffield’s men, the weather was to become the game’s major factor for the remaining 70 minutes. A very strong wind ensured neither side could gain much control of the ball.

Scarborough got their lifeline in the 28th minute after good work by Chris Bolder was rewarded with a goal. Bolder was released down the right after good movement to get inside James Cullingworth. Bolder then fired a low ball across the six-yard box for Gary Bradshaw to stab home.

The game was pulled back by the Seadogs after 41 minutes with an equalising goal from Jimmy Beadle.

The action wasn’t over for the first half quite yet, as the Nailers stole in to take the lead. On the break, Colin Marrison found half a yard on the right hand side and produced a glorious through ball for Froggatt to slot the ball home.

The second half proved to be a more cautious 45 minutes for both sides in the treacherous wind. Scarborough had a goal disallowed when Beadle slotted the ball home, only for the flag to be raised.

However, the home side were to go on and score their third after Gareth Davies brought down Chris Bolder to concede a penalty with five minutes of normal time to go. Gary Bradshaw sent Dave Ratcliffe the wrong way.

The drama didn’t end there as the Nailers had four golden opportunities to win it late on.

Substitute Kieran Wells was brought down in the 87th minute and Belper were awarded the game’s second penalty, just two minutes after the first. Jon Froggatt took responsibility, but White blocked it to save his side from defeat.

Six minutes of stoppage time were added on with Chris Jones and Colin Marrison both hitting the bar, and Aaron Cole seeing his volley from the edge of the area tipped over the bar to ensure his side took a share of the spoils.