Halesowen Town 1
Belper Town 3
Belper Town returned from the West Midlands with a vital three points against Halesowen Town on Tuesday night, who before the game were just one point behind them in the league table, writes Nigel Oldrini
Darryl Thomas was fit again so took his place on the bench, while Simon Harrison was preferred to Chris Adam, who was also named as a substitute.
The Nailers were also missing skipper Steve Warne, who had sustained an injury in Saturday’s draw at Kidsgrove Athletic.
Halesowen, who are challenging for a play-off spot, included the division’s leading goal scorer Ben Haseley in their starting line-up.
The Nailers went ahead on 13 minutes after Brendan Kelly handled a Jon Froggatt shot on the goalline and not only conceded a penalty kick but was also sent off for the offence.
Froggatt stepped up to convert the spot kick and claimed his 13th goal of the campaign.
Aaron Griffiths came close to an equaliser in the 31st minute with a well-struck free-kick from just outside the penalty area but Belper ‘keeper Aaron Chapman preserved the Nailers’ lead with a magnificent save.
Shaun Roulston tightened Belper’s grip on the game with a fine header, following Simon Harrison’s 39th minute corner kick and the Nailers went into the half-time break with a comfortable lead.
Shaun Tuton made it 3-0 on 79 minutes after cutting inside and beating the ‘keeper from just inside the penalty area, then Halesowen had two penalties awarded inside the final ten minutes.
Aaron Chapman denied Ben Haseley in the 81st minute and then Luke Corbett converted the second with five minutes to go.
This was a huge three points for the Nailers, who now look capable of securing a play-off spot and are also within reach of Sutton Coldfield Town, and possibly even Stamford.
Halesowen Town: Evans, Bowen (Kargbo 88), Meacham, Botfield, Hull, Kelly, Griffiths, Barnfield, Corbett, Haseley, Gueyes (Warmer 16). Unused subs: Arshad, Hill, Flower.
Belper Town: Chapman, Wright, Rushbury, Cotton, Roulston, Adams, Harrison, Marrison, Froggatt (Ward 79), Tuton, Graves. Unused subs: Adam, Thomas, Godber, Ratcliffe.
Referee: Scott Postin (Coventry)