A rather unconvincing performance from Belper Town on Saturday meant a 4-1 defeat on home turf to rivals Chasetown.
Manager Peter Duffield made only one change to the team after Cameron Stuart’s departure from the club, meaning a starting place for Aaron Pride at right back, with Chris Jones starting at left back.
Belper began the brighter of the two teams with early chances for Phil Watt and Chris Adam, both inside the opposing area.
But it was the Scholars who took the lead on the 14th minute with a sweet strike from Daniel Bragoli. Ramone Stephens collected the ball on the left and cut in to beat three defenders square on the edge of the box.
His pass then set up Bragoli, whose first attempt was blocked by Dan White, only to come back to Bragoli, who cruised the ball into the far left corner.
Chasetown got a second ten minutes later with a rather fortuitous deflection. Stephens again created the opening on the left hand side. He then played the ball inside for Lee Butler, who teed the shot up well. However, his right footed drive took a huge deflection off Simon Harrison to loop over the goalkeeper and dip into the net.
The initial response however was perfect for Belper, as a goal one minute later brought them back into it .
Chris Jones and Aaron Pride had switched sides at fullback, and Jones (now on the right) collected the ball and looked to cross it into the area, although his cross-come-shot swayed towards goal, and went sailing over the goalkeeper’s palms into the far top corner.
It was then important for Belper to maintain the pressure. However, Chasetown proved a tough outfit and were difficult to play around. There was a chance for Harrison on the 32nd minute after Marrison had whipped the ball in from the right, and Harrison got up well, only for his headed effort to sail two yards over.
The second half was all important for both sides, as the next goal would be the decisive factor. That goal came for Chasetown on the 54th minute after a neat move down the left, finished by Nicholas Wellecomme.
Substitute Kieran Wells then looked the pep up the Nailers’ attack, and when Steve Warne played him through on the 70th minute, Wells looked to be clipped from behind, although in going down, managed to get the shot away which was saved well but no penalty decision left the Belper players furious.
The game was then put beyond all doubt on the 82nd minute when the industrious Paul Sullivan poked home.