Five wins out of the last six propelled new manager Peter Duffield into hero status and left supporters wondering how far the Nailers can progress this season.
For the first time this during this campaign there are whisperings of a play off place and even going up as champions, and although Duffield will secretly have his eye on a top six finish after making such a good start, not even he will let himself think too seriously of topping the table come the end of April.
His record to date is nothing short of impressive though.
He has successfully guided the Nailers through to the 1st Round of the FA Trophy for the first time for as long as anyone cares to remember, and also through to the next stage of the League Cup.
Three consecutive league victories have seen Belper rise to a more respectable mid table position just eleven points behind current leaders Sheffield FC and four points off a play off place.
Last Saturday’s game at Brigg Town tipped in the Nailers favour but this was a tough game for Duffield’s men who had Andy Richmond to thank for restricting the Zebras to a single goal, and some dubious finishing from the Brigg strikers.
However, this isn’t to suggest it was one way traffic by any means and the Zebras’ custodian was called upon frequently, particularly in the second period and both Belper’s goals were brilliantly taken.
Dan White and Andy Rushbury showed perfect control with their efforts when many other players would have missed the target, but these were quality strikes from quality players.
The club were able to announce some good news following Steve Warne’s loan extension for another month, and Duffield secured the services of another Gladiator with the signing of Lee Whittington at the back end of last week.
Whittington showed some good touches in the 12 minutes he was given on his debut, and there should be plenty more to come from him.
While Ben Spargo was having a run out in the reserves and Ollie Graham going out on loan to Maltby, an ‘old’ favourite was back in the ranks and included as a substitute.
Ryan Hindley rejoined the Nailers and his former manager from his Retford days, but although he didn’t get a run out at the Hawthorns, Belper supporters know exactly what he is capable of, and his worth both on and off the pitch.
Deon Meikle had to be satisfied with a place on the bench after taking over from the unavailable Steve Warne in the FA Trophy win the previous Saturday, and he came on for Scott Ellis for the last 20 minutes.
He may find it difficult to dislodge Warne while the Matlock man is on loan at Christchurch Meadow, but he is likely to be back in the starting line up when the Nailers travel to Barton Rovers in the first round tie this coming Saturday.
Belper will travel with high hopes of reaching the next round as their opponents are rooted to the foot of the Evo-Stik NPL Central Division, although they did pick up an impressive point at top of the table Biggleswade Town last Saturday.
Assuming that no reply is required, the Nailers will travel to Loughborough Dynamo on Tuesday evening for a league fixture.
Belper reserves travel to Dinnington Reserves this Saturday.