Early strike sets up Nailers for win

Belper Town secured their second win of the season after they inflicted a first home defeat against Newcastle Town at The Aspire Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Shaun Roulston was given a surprise debut following the late withdrawal of Karl Colley through illness and Aaron Chapman was also a late inclusion in the starting line-up when Dave Ratcliffe also had to pull out at the last minute.

Manager Peter Duffield rested Mark Ward and brought in Jared Stephens for his first start, and it didn’t take long before the Nailers had made their mark on the game.

Andy Rushbury had just struck the post with a cross after barely 40 seconds of play, when Belper went in front less than a minute later when Colin Marrison threaded a low drive just inside the far post after a Simon Harrison free-kick rebounded out to him.

Jared Stephens should have scored in the 11th minute when the Nailers broke out swiftly and Stephens’s shot was deflected wide when he should really have made use of teammates in a better position to score.

Shaun Tuton hit a good effort just wide two minutes later, then Newcastle had a good spell lasting the best part of 20 minutes or so, in which they had plenty of possession without getting close to Aaron Chapman.

The Nailers might have gone further ahead in the 33rd minute after Andy Rushbury’s quick thinking and incisive through-pass was collected by Shaun Tuton, however his clever flick was well anticipated by Dave Parton, who managed to smother the ball at close range.

Newcastle’s best effort of the first half came in the 38th minute when Neville Thompson struck a half chance over the crossbar, but it was the Nailers who ended the half much the stronger and a Richard Adams header nearly crept in at the foot of the post in the dying moments.

Shaun Tuton tightened Belper’s grip on the game when he cut inside to shoot past Dave Parton in the 48th minute, and at this stage the Nailers were looking well on top.

Tuton tried another effort with less success within two minutes of the restart, but Newcastle were gifted a lifeline when Aaron Chapman failed to hold a routine cross from James Askey leaving Tom France a clearcut opportunity to score from close in.

The goal gave Newcastle renewed impetus and for a while they put pressure on the Belper defence without causing too many anxious moments.

But as the game drew to its close, the Nailers began to force the home team back and looked odds on to secure the points with a third goal.

Richard Adams saw an 85th minute brilliantly saved by the Newcastle ‘keeper, and there were a number of promising situations created that came to nothing, however the Nailers had done enough to get their second 3 pointer of the season, and the league table looked a little healthier for Belper at the final whistle.

Newcastle Town: Parton, Askey, Wint, Bayley, Carter, Lowe, Thorley, Millar, Thompson, France, Harrison. Unused subs: Cole, Blackhurst, Ashman, Whalley, Fletcher.

Belper Town: Chapman, Pride, Wright, Marrison (Stirrup 58), Adams, Roulston, Harrison, Warne, Stephens (Ward 82), Tuton, Rushbury (Siribour 70). Unused subs: Colley, Ratcliffe.