Belper Town response delights boss Charlie Palmer

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Nailers boss Charlie Palmer was pleased with the way his team responded to a heavy midweek defeat to Nuneaton with a big win of their own against Coleshill on Saturday.

Belper Town were hit for six on Wednesday against National League North side Nuneaton, in their first home pre-season fixture of the summer, before they bounced back with a fine win against Midlands Football League Premier opposition.

And Palmer, whose side had won two and drawn one of their previous three friendlies, was happy with the performance on Saturday, with the Evo-Stik First Division South season little over a week away from starting up.

Palmer said: “We have been doing okay this pre-season. We’ve had a lot of new players come in and we’ve had to get them into the same mentality of the players. We’ve made good progress.

“Nuneaton are a good side and it was a tough game. I wanted to see how many players could cope against a group of players from a full time club who play two divisions higher.

“I was disappointed in the way we performed against them. We lost our shape, certain players went missing but we have to take it on the chin. The performance was poor.

“We had to be honest with ourselves and to be fair to the players they’ve taken it on board and put it right on Saturday. We played some nice football and it was a comfortable win.”

And added: “We had several key players missing in the back line. The midfield was not at a level I was seeking and Nuneaton punished us. Their movement caused us problems.

“We looked a lot stronger on Saturday and were better going forward. We still have a long way to go. We’ve been playing football in front of the opposition and I wanted to see what we could do by stretching their back line, using the pace we have in the team.

“It was nice to see them perform like that after a bruising. There were big improvements in midfield and the forwards got a lot better service. Watty (Phil Watts) came back and did well.”

Before that first game of the new 2016/17 campaign against Kidsgrove Athletic, on August 13, Belper are still to face a Burton Albion X1, Ilkeston FC and Matlock Town in their remaining three pre-season fixtures.

“We need to finish off well and make sure we’re ready for Kidsgrove,” said Palmer, who would like to add another striker to his squad before the big kick off. “They are favourites but they do not faze us. We just need to keep improving and building our fitness up.

“The lads have had 45, 55, 60 minutes and against Burton Albion and Ilkeston that’ll go up again to 65, 70 minutes. They’ve all worked really hard. I cannot criticise anyone.

“They’ve all got smiles on their faces. We’ve got a lot of good footballers here.”