Belper Town manager, Peter Duffield was keen to focus his attention just on the second half of the match against Stamford at the weekend.
Despite the Nailers’ 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Lincolnshire high-flyers, Duffield was pleased by what he saw after a first half in which Belper were very much second best.
“It was everything that I want from my teams. We looked lively all over the pitch, players wanted the ball, and we were keen to try our luck with crosses and shots at every opportunity.
“I have to say that I was a little tongue-tied in the dressing room after the game”, said Duffield,” because I was humbled by the reaction of the fans when they applauded the players off the pitch.
“I felt as though I had let the supporters down after yet another home defeat, even though the lads had given me everything in that second 45 minutes.
“But the fans showed that if the players put in maximum effort and try to play attractive football, they will appreciate what we are trying to achieve at Belper, “added Duffield.
“When we went two goals down after 20 minutes, it could easily have turned out in similar vein to previous 5-1 loss against Hucknall Town but the players wanted to prove a point to Mick Godber and myself and to that end, they succeeded handsomely.”
Duffield had brought on two players at the half-way stage and although both Jordan Turner and Alan O’Hare contributed enormously to the second half display, Duffield was at pains to point out that the other nine players equally deserved the credit for the way in which the Nailers fought their way back into the game.
“Jordan [Turner] was a revelation when he came on, giving us energy and momentum and he also linked well with Jon Froggatt to give the Stamford defence something to think about.”
“Equally, Alan Hare’s attitude has been first class after he was left out of the team and he also proved a point to me when he came on after the interval.”
O’Hare had replaced new signing, Michael Simpkins who has struggled since his recent move to Christchurch Meadow from Frickley Athletic.
“’Simmo’ has a knee injury,” said Duffield, “but he always wants to play – sometimes to his own detriment - but I have every confidence that we will see the best of him when he finally overcomes his current injury problems.
There were also other plusses for the manager on Saturday. Luke Fedorenko made his first appearance of the season after suffering a severe knee injury in pre-season whilst Jamie Smith is also raring to go after being injured after just a few minutes in the Grantham home defeat.
After the Doodson Sport Cup game against Worksop Town on Tuesday evening, the Nailers travel to Shropshire on Saturday to take on Market Drayton Town. A coach will be laid on for this match and which will depart from the Triangle at 11.30am, with the fare set at £8 (no concessions).
Duffield was set to give a debut to new defensive signing Greg Wright in the midweek cup game. He joined the club last weekend from Humberside outfit North Ferriby United.
There may also have been a welcome return for Dan White who has been out recently with a hamstring injury but the Belper defender was otherwise engaged over the weekend as he was celebrating the birth of twin boys (Ethan Lee and Benjamin James) on Sunday morning.
For supporters not travelling to Market Drayton, Belper Town Reserves host Ashbourne Town in the second round of the Derbyshire Divisional Cup (South) with the tie kicking off at 3.00pm.
Admission is free to all reserve team matches.