Late goals push Nailers into the play-off places

Jon Froggatt celebrates with Eric Graves
Jon Froggatt celebrates with Eric Graves

Two late goals saw Belper Town deservedly take all three points against Rainworth at Kirklington Road on Saturday, and move into a play-off position at the expense of Gresley FC on goal difference.

The Nailers put Glyn Cotton straight into the side following his re-signing from Matlock Town and he proved the difference in a closely contested encounter.

Chris Adam, another former Belper player who returned to Christchurch Meadow recently, was named as a substitute.

After a scrappy start to the game, Ryan Goward had the first shot on target in the eighth minute, although it was an easy one for Aaron Chapman to deal with.

Andy Rushbury sent over a great cross in the 11th minute but some unseen tugging on Jon Froggatt’s shirt meant the Belper striker was never going to reach the ball.

Eric Graves struck a wayward effort over the top in the 20th minute and the game had descended into a scrappy affair.

Belper’s best move so far came on 29 minutes when they broke clear through Jon Froggatt, who slipped the ball through for Darryl Thomas who quickly bore down on goal.

Alessandro Barcherini narrowed the angle and managed to divert Thomas’s shot out for a corner kick, from which Karl Colley headed just over.

Glyn Cotton provided a piece of excellence in the 32nd minute when he set himself up for a shot from just outside the area, and despatched an inch-perfect delivery just under the crossbar.

Shaun Roulston nearly made it two just before half-time but couldn’t keep his header down from a Simon Harrison free-kick.

Rainworth were level in the 50th minute when Callum Lloyd nodded the ball over the goalline .

However, the Nailers dug deep and stemmed the flow of enthusiasm created by the Wren’s early fightback. They immediately had an opportunity to regain the lead when Simon Harrison forged a chance in the 62nd minute, but couldn’t find pace or accuracy with his shot.

It was looking ever likely that a draw would be the outcome but the spotted one of the many shirt pulling incidents that had been prevalent during the game when Lee Cooksey hauled down Shaun Tuton in the 87th minute, and, with a penalty awarded, Froggatt stepped up to despatch the spot kick just inside the post.

The Nailers made certain when the pacy Tuton fired a low cross into the six-yard area where Jon Froggatt was waiting to provide a close range finish, but the ball never reached him as defender Ashley Kitchen diverted the ball into his own net.

Rainworth MW: Barcherini, Walker, Hanson, Camm, Kitchen, Cooksey, Lloyd, Holmes, Higginson, Holmes J (Kimberley 88), Goward (Jenkins 88). Unused subs: Burton, White.

Belper Town: Chapman, Wright, Rushbury, Cotton, Roulston, Colley (Adams 34), Harrison (Adam 81), Warne, Froggatt, Thomas (Tuton 62), Graves. Unused subs: Ward, Ratcliffe.Referee: Dean Bradshaw (Sheffield)

Att: 158