BELPER Town’s efforts to make it seven consecutive wins floundered at Stamford although they did emerge with a hard won point after a largely bad tempered contest.
Manager Peter Duffield admitted that his team lost their discipline, but rallied after the break to give a better account of themselves.
“We lost our focus right from the start and spent too much time arguing rather than focusing on football,” he said.
“We sorted all that nonsense out at half time and we did much better in the second half and after Froggy scored us a great equaliser I thought we might have sneaked a winner.”
“If we had then I couldn’t say that we would’ve deserved it because Stamford are a good side especially at their place and they made us work hard at times and had chances to score.”
“But then we had chances ourselves, in fact their ‘keeper won the man of the match award so that tells you all you need to know.”
Duffield was not happy with Ben Leonard’s sending off and was critical of the penalty decision that gave Stamford the chance to double their lead.
“I must admit I was fearful for Aaron Pride because when the referee gave a penalty I thought he would sent off, but surprisingly he wasn’t.”
“The ref said that Aaron had got a slight touch on the ball so he kept it to a booking however I can’t quite understand it because if it was a foul and the player was last man, he should have sent Pridey off, so I bemused about that decision.”
“In Ben’s case he had two yellow cards for innocuous challenges and he was very unlucky in my opinion because in both of his challenges he got the ball before the man.”
With talk of a play off place being in Belper’s distance reach Peter Duffield wasn’t allowing himself to look any further ahead than the next game.
“It’s good that supporters are talking in positive terms but I’m not prepared to speculative on where we will finish this season.”
“All I know is that we have put together a tremendous run of results against teams who in some cases are higher up the league than us. After each game we play we firstly assess our performance and then look at how the other sides have done.”
“If we finish the season strongly then I will be pleased with that because it will tell me that the new players I’ve brought to the club are settling down, and will give us a good basis to plan next season.”
Jon Froggatt underlined once again his importance to the team with a superbly taken individual goal last Saturday and now looks to be closing in on the 30 goal mark for the season.
Froggatt is a player that Duffield wants to have in his squad next season but will the prolific striker want to stay at Christchurch Meadow for another campaign.
“Obviously it too soon to say at this stage,” said Duffield, “but I certainly want him to stay and there is an option written into his contract that can be invoked if he wishes.”
“Froggy has been excellent since I came and you have to remember that it wasn’t easy for him to come to terms with the events surrounding the previous manager, but he is back to his best and getting goals regularly again.”
The Nailers took a coach load of supporters to Stamford last Saturday and their noise and presence was very much appreciated by Duffield and his players.
“It gives everyone a lift when they get vocal support such as we had on Saturday and it’s great to see supporters taking the interest in following us away from home.”
“I know we didn’t give them a great deal to shout about in the first half, but after the break we were able to get the excitement levels up a bit, and they (the supporters) were willing us on in the latter stages and it’s a shame we couldn’t get a winner.”
The Nailers face three games in seven days starting with a visit to Hucknall Town in midweek (Tuesday), and then on Saturday they entertain Lincoln United before travelling to New Mills on Monday evening.
Meanwhile the reserves lost their home game 4-1 to Graham Street Prims last weekend, and on Saturday travel to Staveley MW reserves.