Home defeat for Nailers at the hands of Whitby

Rob Stevenson, Bellper Town''Photo by Tim Harrison
Rob Stevenson, Bellper Town''Photo by Tim Harrison

Belper Town suffered their second defeat of the season at home to Whitby Town on Saturday, as the home side continue to search for their first league victory.

A goal in each half for the visitors was enough, as the Blues looked comfortable throughout the game, looking tidy in their approach.

The Nailers looked relatively bright in the opening 20 minutes, creating promising openings which failed to lead to anything.

The first chance of the game came for winger Rob Stevenson on the seventh minute after neat play from Evan Garnett playing Stevenson in on the left. Stevenson opted to take a first touch to control, then fire a low shot on goal which was saved by Bland.

A minute later Stevenson was at the heart of the attack again. This time, a strong run down the left produced a good cross to the far post towards Colin Marrison, who chested the ball down and struck a fine half volley which was saved tremendously well by ‘keeper Bland.

The visitors then had their first chance of the game on ten minutes. Matthew Brown found space on the right and picked out Steven Snaith with a good pass inside the box. Snaith then took the ball to the line and cut a pass back to the unmarked Craig Farrell, who placed a shot inches wide.

Captain Steve Warne then had a good effort from the edge of the area tipped wide. A lively Colin Marrison soon produced another decent effort on goal, cutting in from the right, 25 yards from goal, and curling a good left-footed strike towards the top corner, only for the ball to rise half a foot over the bar.

Dale Hopson had a point-blank effort saved well by Martin, after a half-volley from inside the box gave the home side a stern warning.

The ball was then steered into the back of the net for the Nailers, albeit a disallowed goal for Evan Garnett on 42 minutes. Then, one minute later, the visitors took the lead. Good work down the left saw Liam Shepard bring the ball inside the box for raig Farrell, who opened up his body well and aimed for the far corner with a curling effort. However his shot took a horrible deflection off the unlucky Dan White into the back of the net.

The second half proved rather quieter from both sides. However the Blues saw the game out well, protecting their clean sheet to ensure they would claim their first three points of the season.

The Nailers were forced to clear the ball off the line after 51 minutes when a strong header by Kevin Burgess from six yards towards the far left post was blocked well.

Soon after, the visitors doubled their lead, proving worthy of their feat. A free-kick from deep on the left-hand side was floated in and goalkeeper James Martin came out to collect. However, coming through a crowd of bodies, Martin couldn’t hold on to the ball, meaning another fortuitous deflection fell for Whitby, with Richard Pell walking the ball into the back of the net.

One final chance did come for Belper to perhaps force a late rally, after a chipped ball by Warne towards Marrison was headed back into the middle for poacher Jon Froggatt to stab in with an effort, only for the impressive Bland to keep his clean sheet with a good save down low.