Belper Town 2
Newcastle Town 0
Belper began their campaign in fine style after running out comfortable winners over Newcastle Town at Christchurch Meadow on Saturday.
Jon Froggatt scored his 100th and 101st goals for the Nailers after netting two penalties to ensure they won their first opening day game since 2009.
As expected, both sets of players were running on nervous energy and the game began in a quite frantic manor with neither team settling in the opening period.
The Nailers played the better football and looked more comfortable in the centre of the field, with a fine display by Glynn Cotton.
It took 22 minutes for the first refereeing decision to arrive and it was a correct one that awarded Belper their first penalty.
Jamie Jackson was causing Newcastle’s defence problems throughout the match, and his mazy run down the right took him past his marker into the area to provide a perfectly weighted cross for Chris Adam. Adam rose to head the ball and was pushed in the back by Matt Lowe who got away with just a booking.
Froggatt stepped up to neatly tuck his penalty away.
The goal proved to be the settling factor for both teams who began playing good football and produced entertainment for the fans.
Two minutes after scoring, Froggatt pounced on a ball headed down by Jackson to hit a half volley first time just over the bar from 20 yards, before Froggatt and Jackson were both played through but failed to find the back of the net from tight angles.
The second-half produced the best football of the game and both teams were looking to play in a positive manor.
Newcastle’s best chance came in the 62nd minute when the ball was worked nicely down the left and Kyle Diskin flashed a ball across the six yard box, but Tom France failed to get any contact as he stretched to reach it.
However, any sign of nerves for the Nailers were cast away in sublime style. Cotton latched onto a loose ball and after a 30-yard run, his pass to Froggatt left a huge gap down the centre of Newcastle’s defence and Simon Harrison was played through on goal but was cynically tripped by Lowe whose day went from bad to worse.
A second penalty was awarded and a red card saw Lowe sent to the stands, Froggatt again sending the keeper the wrong way with five minutes to go to ensure a victory and clean sheet for the hosts.
Belper: Low, Thompson, Rushbury, Cotton, Adams, White, Harrison, Marrison, Froggatt, Jackson, Adam. Subs: Ward, Warne (72), Rowley (87), Roulston, Tuton (78).
Ref: Michael Scriven