The Nailers were able to celebrate a 2-1 FA Cup victory at local rivals Ilkeston FC on Saturday.
A very entertaining game began with the Robins creating the first set of early chances as Matt Richards looked to give his side an early advantage.
Firstly, his driven cross was stabbed just wide by Nailers’ defender Richard Adams after nine minutes, and, shortly after, his snap shot from the edge of the box curled just wide of the wide right post.
But it was the Nailers who drew first blood in the game with their first real opportunity on goal.
The ball found its way to Glyn Cotton on the right hand side, whose neat turn saw him knock the ball across the six-yard-box with pace, only for the defender to deflect it back into the path of Sam Duncum, and he fizzed his shot low into the right corner from 12 yards out in the 18th minute.
The goal then opened up the game and both teams began playing good positive football. Ilkeston came close to an equaliser when Matt Richards’s cross from the left was lifted to the far post and met by Kane Richards, who could only head the ball into the side netting.
The second half produced the best football of the game with both sides creating good chances in the box.
James Reid produced a neat piece of skill as the ball was played to him five yards outside the area, only to dummy his shot and bring the ball onto his right foot, beating two players and shooting low towards goal, but Ratcliffe was equal to it.
The Nailers then doubled their advantage and produced a move and a goal worthy of winning any football match. The ball was played up to Jon Froggatt who brought the ball down and turned onto his left hand side. Sam Duncum made a run down the left and Froggatt produced a defence splitting pass into Duncum’s path. Duncum then took on his man to the line and delivered an inch-perfect left-footed cross onto the head of Shaun Tuton, who fired his header into the bottom right corner with half an hour to go.
Belper then had to do their fair share of defending and almost let Ilkeston back into it just two minutes later.
Gary Ricketts had the ball at his feet with his back to goal just inside the area, and his lay off to James Reid resulted in a low right-footed shot which struck the left hand post and was cleared.
However, the Robins got their goal in the 71st minute with a fine solo run and strike by left back Aaron Webster.
The Nailers then defended superbly and their back five worked tirelessly to keep the Robins at bay until the end.