A 90th minute winner from the most unlikely of sources gave Belper Town all three points at Romulus on Saturday, at the end of a rather lacklustre game.
On what was a cold and blustery day at the Central Ground, the game suffered from a distinct lack of attacking quality and composure throughout.
Neither side took control or were able to produce any really memorable moments to take away, however that wasn’t from a lack of effort, as both sides ran their hearts out.
Belper had the first opportunity after just three minutes, when a corner from the right was taken by Simon Harrison. The ball was played into the six-yard box and the goalkeeper came to punch the ball clear, only for the follow-up by Gareth Davies with a first time volley to go a yard over.
Besides Davies’s speculative effort, neither side were able to conjure up a decent opportunity in the first half an hour as both teams erred on the side of caution.
The Roms produced their first chance in the 33rd minute when a Gregory Downes corner from the right was bravely headed away by Phil Watt. The ball then sat up well for the advanced right back to try his luck, only for Fleming’s left-footed effort to narrowly fly wide of the far left post.
Tom Turton then took a corner from the left, 39 minutes in, and Lee Smith was on hand to power in his header from the six-yard box towards the top left corner. However Cullingworth was there to head the ball off the line.
Any hopes of the second half picking up were quickly vanished as a similar tempo was to take place for the remaining 45 minutes.
Simon Harrison had a long-range shot go wide after Lee Smith put him under pressure to hit it early, and Jon Froggatt saw a long-range free-kick deflect off his own player to outfox the goalkeeper, who could only stand and watch as the ball went agonisingly wide of the right hand post.
Mark Ward had a good opportunity in the 60th minute after a long ball was played up by Liam Davis for Froggatt to head down into his path and he unleashed a decent effort which went just wide.
Romulus had three good chances to take the lead but it was the Nailers who went home cheering, as a goal in the 90th minute ensured three more points.
James Cullingworth went across to the left to take a deep free kick, cut out by the first man. However, at the second opportunity, Cullingworth whipped in a glorious ball and through a crowd of players came Phil Watt to stab the ball home and win the game for his side.