Belper Town beaten by Blyth Spartans

Belper Town v Ilkeston'English League Football - Evo-Stik League'26th December 2014''New Belper Town Manager Jimmy Albans.''Picture by Dan Westwell
Belper Town v Ilkeston'English League Football - Evo-Stik League'26th December 2014''New Belper Town Manager Jimmy Albans.''Picture by Dan Westwell
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Belper Town’s hopes of beating the drop were dealt another blow as they were beaten 2-0 by Blyth Spartans.

Manager Jimmy Albans started with Jon Froggatt and Rob Stevenson as his centre forward pair and Steve Warne started the game from the bench.

The game began at an even pace by both sides with Blyth earning the first opportunity of the game after ten minutes when Turnbull’s first-time shot was saved well by Martin deflecting on to the post.

Spartans tested Martin for a second time five minutes later as Richardson powered a half volley from the edge of the box which was parried away well by the Nailers ‘keeper.

Belper’s first chance of the game came after 17 minutes when a short free kick by Ross teed up Mathews to take a touch and strike from distance, only to aim in comfortable range for Jeffries.

Rivers and Richardson had further chances for Blyth five minutes either side of the half hour mark, both going wide of the right hand post.

The opening goal came for the home side moments after Richardson struck wide as a corner by Jarrett Rivers was swung in and caused confusion between the Nailers defence, to hit the back of the net directly from the taker.

Froggatt hit the bar two minutes later as he headed an Ian Ross free-kick goalwards.

The Nailers came out for the second half with the need to create more chances and did so after Blyth had scored their second goal of the game.

After decent Belper pressure, Blyth broke well down the left hand side through the dangerous Dale, before the captain played a brilliant cross field ball to put Jarrett Rivers in one-on-one with Martin.

Rivers slide the ball through the legs of the keeper after taking an assured first touch to set himself well on the 58th minute.

Belper then squandered a brilliant chance to half the deficit as a Ross free kick was headed wide of the far post by Watt, five yards from goal.

Stevenson soon had another big opportunity after finding a way in behind the defence, only to place his shot the wrong side of the post, leaving Belper scratching their heads in frustration.

One final chance came for Blyth to put the game out of sight, only to be kept at bay by Martin with a brilliant double save moments from the final whistle.

Blyth Spartans: Jeffries, Nicholson, Watson, Hutchinson, Buddle, Hooks (Wade 57), Rivers, Hawkins, Richardson (Maguire 74), Turnbull (Mullen 80), Dale. Subs: Parker, Dixon.

Belper Town: Martin, Jones (Varley 61), Pride, Adams, Watt, Ross, Williams, Towey, Stevenson, Froggatt (Warne 90), Matthews. Subs: Lister, Barr-Rostran, James.

Referee: Mr Clayton (Redcar)

Attendance: 439