Evo-Stik League Division One South
Glapwell FC 0
Belper Town 3
Belper Town are ending their season on a high and achieved their first ever league victory at Glapwell, by a comfortable margin.
Manager Andy Carney had no reason to change his starting line-up as they faced a Glapwell side still harbouring outside hopes of a play-off place, and with former Nailers Steve Kennedy, Micky Harcourt and Matt Telling lining up for the opposition there was added spice.
On a very warm afternoon, it promised to be a tough workout for these two teams on a hard bumpy pitch at Hall Corner.
There was a scare for the Nailers right at the start when the ball came into the penalty area and Adam Kimberley’s effort was scrambled away before any serious damage was done.
Glapwell did most of the prompting for the first 20 minutes or so and Belper were content to marshal the threat of Ian Holmes and Ian Brown and wait and see what happened.
Slowly but surely, the Nailers began to make progress into the Glapwell half and, as confidence grew, they started to cause Steve Kennedy and his fellow defenders a few problems.
Adam Walker had just volleyed over the top in the 27th minute when Belper were denied what seemed to be a good goal at the other end.
Matt Plant sent a tremendous header from a Lee Thompson corner wide of James Lindley and into the net, and the referee appeared to give the goal before being ushered towards his assistant, who was flagging vigorously.
The end result was that Plant’s goal was chalked off for an offside decision that mystified everyone, including the referee, who nevertheless supported his assistant’s decision.
Aaron Pride could have put the Nailers ahead in the 37th minute after starting the move and getting on the end of Charlie Weir’s cross, only to glance his header wide. Matt Plant was a whisker away from putting through his own goal two minutes later and Harcourt brought a great save out of Barcherini on 43 minutes.
However, it was Belper who held the advantage at the break when Ruben Wiggins-Thomas took advantage of a moment’s hesitation between Kennedy and Lindley to slide the ball betwixt them both and into the net. Only two minutes of the second half had elapsed before Belper tightened their grip by scoring a second goal. A long ball down the middle was eventually nodded down by Jon Froggatt to Charlie Weir who wasted no time in sweeping the ball into the far corner of the net leaving Lindley helpless to intervene.
The Nailers moved further ahead in the 55th minute with Froggatt again instrumental as he pulled the ball back for Darryl Thomas to fire an excellent volley beyond Lindley and bulge the net, a truly fine effort.
Glapwell grafted hard in midfield and tried all they could to create an opportunity but the Nailers were imperious at the back and snuffed out everything that the home team could offer.
Matt Plant was unlucky with a header that drifted pasted the angle from a Lee Thompson free-kick, and Darryl Thomas suffered the effects of the uneven surface after Ruben Wiggins-Thomas found him unmarked on the edge of the penalty area and the ball bobbled as he connected with it. Lee Thompson struck a screamer from 35 yards that the ‘keeper managed to push away to safety, and in the end the Nailers settled for a 3-0 victory to send Andy Carney into his final game a justifiably proud man.
Glapwell: Lindley, Harcourt, Magee, Varley, Kennedy, O’Hare, Kimberley, Walker (Telling 64), Holmes, Brown (Page 57), Garnett (Shelley 70). Unused subs: Timons, Richmond.
Belper Town: Barcherini, Pride, Davis, Thompson, Plant, Adams, Wiggins-Thomas, Smith, Froggatt (Fedorenko 78), Thomas (Simmons 87), Weir (Rushbury 83). Unused subs: Darker, Thorpe.
Referee: Alex Pashley of Chesterfield.