Nailers keep up pressure after latest great result

Steve Warne, Belper Town FC''Photo by Tim Harrison
Steve Warne, Belper Town FC''Photo by Tim Harrison

Belper Town made it three consecutive victories in the league after defeating Leek Town 1-0 at Christchurch Meadow on Saturday.

It was a close affair between two sides insistent on playing neat football, making for an entertaining game.

Peter Duffield made no changes to the side that beat Gresley FC four days earlier, sticking with a winning side.

The first ten minutes for Belper were positive, with the home side attacking with pace and getting into their opponents’ heads.

They had a disallowed goal after just six minutes as the ball was adjudged to have gone out of play before making its way into the box. It was a good move by Belper, which began from the back and worked its way up to Simon Harrison on the right.

Harrison then played Chris Jones in on the overlap, who did well to regain the ball after the defender got in front.

Jones then whipped in a terrific ball for Colin Marrison to come powering in with a bullet header into the top corner. However, the flag was raised and the goal was disallowed.

Three minutes later, Jon Froggatt produced a nice touch and turn on the edge of the box to tee himself up for the shot fired just over the bar that had the keeper beaten.

Leek’s only effort in the first half came on the stroke of half-time when Matt Bell delivered a free kick from the left towards the penalty spot, and Andrew Kinsey rose to head the ball down, although the contact was weak and the ball came through for Ratcliffe to safely collect.

Jon Froggatt had another chance from six yards out when Kieran Wells picked him out with a cross from the right.

However, Froggatt was always leaning back and couldn’t get any direction on the attempt as it swayed a foot wide.

Froggatt was edging closer however, this time in the 63rd minute when his powerful strike from the edge of the box was drilled just over the bar.

The games finest moment then came in the 65th minute when Simon Harrison skilfully jinxed his way inside and out of the fullback inside of the penalty area, who then tripped the number seven to give away a penalty for his side. Jon Froggatt, who had looked the most likely as is often the case, stepped up to drive the ball into the far right corner and sent Chapman the wrong way.

Dave Ratcliffe, who had had a quiet game for the first hour, was then called into action, and how he earned his money with a fine save on the 67th minute.

Ryan Dicker stepped up to take a free kick, which was 25 yards out, left of centre. Dicker then went for power over precision, and his thunderous strike was goal bound, until Ratcliffe sprung to his top right corner to tip the ball over with a powerful save.

Leek then began to press in the closing stages, but a resilient Nailers defence seemed destined to keep a clean sheet. And, when John Johnston’s strike from the left of the area was palmed away by Ratcliffe at his near post on the 90th minute, that ensured the Nailers went on to claim all three points.