Belper Town manager Peter Duffield still refuses to talk about the play-offs, despite his side having now gone 20 games unbeaten, following Saturday’s victory at Hucknall Town.
“We haven’t achieved anything yet,” said Duffield, “we will wait until we have got the points in the bag before we start thinking about who we will be playing in the play-off semi final, but if we can beat Northwich on Saturday and other results go our way, maybe I will allow myself to start thinking about it.”
Belper’s comfortable win at Hucknall last Saturday was possibly the most predictable result of the season, bearing in mind the Yellows’ record.
The result was never in doubt once Jon Froggatt put the Nailers ahead, but Duffield paid tribute to the Nottinghamshire club, who had some difficult problems to contend with.
“We went about it in a professional way and got the result we deserved. It wasn’t pretty and we should have scored more, but you have to feel for Hucknall at the moment; they are a good club and their manager has worked wonders in being able to get a team out week in week out.
“We were in a no-win situation when we went into the game,” he said, “we were expected to win by a big margin and, not for the first time this season, Jon Froggatt’s goals made certain of the victory.”
Easter Monday’s goalless draw against Mickleover Sports was a product of the Nailers’ efforts against Carlton and Sutton Coldfield according to Peter Duffield.
“They were both tough games and we had to battle it out right to the end. As a result I thought we looked flat against Mickleover and couldn’t raise our game enough.”
Duffield was particularly disappointed about Colin Marrison’s dismissal against Sutton Coldfield when the Belper player was wrongly sent off following a clash with a Sutton defender.
“The referee and his assistant made a mistake and should have sent off the opposition player. We have lost Colin now for the rest of the regular season and their player has got away with it, but there is nothing we can do without video evidence.”
The Belper boss has been celebrating being named manager of the month for March and the only surprise is that it has taken so long for him to achieve the accolade bearing in mind the Nailers’ extended unbeaten run.
“It’s nice to get recognised,” said Duffield, “but the real winners are the players and staff who have worked so hard to put me in the frame for the award and I’d like to thank everyone at the club who has made a contribution.”