The Nailers maintained their winning streak after beating Stocksbridge Park Steels 1-0 in their final pre-season friendly at Christchurch Meadow on Saturday.
Both teams came out the blocks fast and started brightly in the game, as the players looked to sharpen up their studs ready for the new season to kick off.
After a series of setpieces for each team, the first real chance came for Stocksbridge after a fine move down the right flank gave Nathan Joynes the chance to latch onto a pass and hit it first time.
Joynes opted to go for the delicate curl towards the far post which had the Nailers triallist ‘keeper beaten but the ball sailed a foot wide.
The Nailers had a gilt-edged chance of their own as the ball fell for Jamie Jackson on the byline, who played it back for Roulston to cross first time, but the back post header from Jon Froggatt was sent uncharacteristically into the side netting. Few clearcut chances were created from each side in the first half and the goalkeeper’s services were rarely called upon.
The second half began with good positive football on show. Glyn Cotton played an important role in helping Belper retain most of the possession for the first 20 minutes of the second half.
However, The Steels created a good opening from a corner on the 64th minute which was headed onto the roof of the net by Joynes.
The deadlock was then broken in tremendous style from the Nailers. Sam Duncum had showed his pace and skill throughout the game and, with 17 minutes to go, his good work finally paid off. His close control made it difficult for the defender to make any form of tackle as his mazy run down the left took him past his marker to cut the ball back for Andy Rushbury.
His whose first time left footed cross was delivered with pace for Colin Marrison to powerfully head the ball into the far corner.
The game then seemed to fade away from Stocksbridge, who created one last half chance in the final minutes from an overhead kick which went two foot wide of the far right post.
The Nailers threatened to add a second when Simon Harrison drilled a low ball across the six-yard box which had three players sliding in to make contact, only for some fantastic defending by the Steels’ full back to stab it away.
Overall, some bright football by both sides and some positive performances to keep the respective managers still with decisions to make on their starting line-ups.
All of Peter Duffield’s new players have performed very well in pre-season, showing the fans why they deserve to wear the shirt and giving Belper plenty of new options going into the new season.
The Nailers now have one final week of preparation until their season kicks off.
Belper Town: Trial Goalkeeper, Roulston, Rushbury, Cotton, Adams, White, Adam, Marrison, Froggatt, Jackson, Duncum. Subs: Ward, Harrison, Smyth, Rowley, Thompson, Tuton, Godber.
Stocksbridge Park Steels: Scott, Duffy, Turner, Swirad, Bowden-Lovell, Senior, Bettney, Royles, South, Joynes, White. Subs: Davis, Ward, Denton, Travis, Black, Hoyles.
Referee: Mark Sutton