Belper Town struggled to impose themselves against lowly Mickleover Sports on Monday in a 0-0 draw at Station Road and the only positive outcome was that they emerged with their unbeaten record intact.
Manager Peter Duffield decided to make changes from the team that won by a last minute Jon Froggatt strike on Easter Saturday, and opted to leave his top goal scorer on the bench.
A blustery cross wind didn’t help matters when it came to playing good football although Belper started the game well and put pressure on Mickleover in the early stages.
However, it took until the 17th minute before the Nailers had an effort on goal and this was a Shaun Roulston glancing header from a Simon Harrison free kick.
John Guy crunched into Belper skipper Steve Warne on 24 minutes and earned himself a yellow card, however Glyn Cotton’s free kick came to nothing as Sports cleared the danger with ease.
Shaun Tuton showed good strength minutes later and threaded the ball through for Eric Graves but Joe McCormack came out to claim the ball.
The home team began to get more possession as the half wore on and Martin Smythe had a fierce goalbound shot blocked by a team mate. However, Belper’s best chance of the half came in the 41st minute after Simon Harrison’s weaving run ended with Glyn Cotton mis kicking from 12 yards and then Shaun Tuton couldn’t divert the ball towards goal.
A sizeable Easter Monday crowd looked for something better after the break and Belper supporters in particular, but they were to be disappointed as the second half was scrappy and uninspiring.
Mark Ward was brought down on the edge of the area on 55 minutes and took the kick himself, although he was a little too high with his shot.
Mickleover came close to scoring when Alex Steadman went off on a run and was allowed to take the ball too far before shooting, and Aaron Chapman got a hand to it.
Jon Froggatt came on and had a couple of shots that went wide and it became clear that the Nailers didn’t look like they were going to score the goal that would have won it.