Belper Town beaten by AFC Mansfield comeback

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AFC Mansfield scored two late goals to secure the victory against Belper Town.

The Nailer’s took the lead halfway through the second-half when Captain Laurie Wilson curled in a delightful free-kick from 25-yards out.

Despite going behind, the home side responded well and took advantage of some hesitant Belper defending to equalise in the 73rd minute.

And, with just ten minutes remaining, a sweetly struck volley from the Bulls’ number eight gave them the victory.

Belper had a lot of the ball, but struggled to create clear cut chances, whereas AFC Mansfield played the ball from back to front very quickly and looked to have a more direct approach to the game.

Speaking after the game Belper manager Jim Albans said: “The first thing we need to improve on is consistency, you cannot stop doing what you are good at.

“We need to make sure the players are doing it for 90 minutes, today we did it for long periods, we had a lot of the ball, good possession, but soon as we went 1-0 up we stopped doing what we were doing well”.

And Albans added there would still be opportunites for players to stake a claim for a place in the team when the Nailers host Newcastle Town at The Marston’s Stadium on 15th August.

“There is still opportunities for people to be in the starting 11 at the start of the season,” added Albans. “Michael Towey was not available today, he is a player that can drop into midfield for us and get goals, he will be one that will be in contention for us next week and we have got plenty of other options.”

Jason Bradley and Lee Cooksey, who are both on trial, featured again today with the former playing the entire game at right-back.

They are both expected to sign in the week and be available for the season’s opener against Newcastle.

The Nailer’s have two more pre-season fixtures to look forward to both of which will be at The Marston’s Stadium, against Mickleover Sports on Tuesday 4th August (19:45 kick-off) and Ilkeston FC on Saturday 8th August (3pm kick-off).

Belper Town starting XI: Rathbone (GK); Bradley, Lister (60’ Cooksey), Watt (60’ Purcicoe), Matthews; Johnson, Wilson, Williams; Garnett (65’ Taylor), Ryan, Stevenson.

Subs: Purcicoe, Cooksey, Taylor, James, Kabanje.