Nailers see off late rally to progress in FA Trophy

Jordan Ball makes it 4-2 for Belper
Jordan Ball makes it 4-2 for Belper

Belper Town did just enough to make it through to the next round of the FA Trophy against a Dynamo side that refused to give up in the second half.

After the Nailers’ midweek success over Matlock Town, manager Peter Duffield didn’t see any reason to change his starting line-up and went with the same 11 that brushed aside the Gladiators in last Tuesday’s replay.

This was a game where Belper looked potent going forward but struggled on occasions in defence, where Loughborough’s quick passing style made them look a little uncomfortable.

But in Jordan Ball they have a gem of a striker.

In only the sixth minute, Ryan Mallon made space for a cross and found Ball, who sent Kahil Mann-Kler sprawling to save at the second attempt.

The Doncaster Rovers loanee was involved soon afterwards when he set up Richard Stirrup for a shot in the eighth minute but his effort bent away from the target.

Ball was involved again two minutes later when he carved out a shooting opportunity from 15 yards and only a desperate one-handed save from the Dynamo ‘keeper kept the scores level. Loughborough began to get in the game more and Louis Hamilton nearly turned the ball in at the near post.

Karl Colley gave the Nailers the lead on 17 minutes when he rose to power a Simon Harrison free-kick well wide of the ‘keeper, although Dynamo were soon on level terms when a quickly-taken corner saw Jake Betts force the ball in from close range. The equaliser seemed to stir the Nailers. Mark Ward hit a good shot on the turn on 26 minutes and again Kahil Mann-Kler got down well to make the save. Then the Nailers scored a peach of a goal two minutes later when Ward ran into space to accept Aaron Pride’s pass and delivered a perfect cross for Jordan Ball to nod home.

Although the Nailers just about deserved their lead, they found it much tougher after the break.

Dynamo forced the Nailers into conceding a handful of free kicks which they struggled to get clear. There was always a chance on the breakaway though for Belper and only a superb interception prevented Jordan Ball extending Belper’s lead.

Dynamo’s Louis Hamilton scored from close range on 73 minutes.

However, Belper were back in front after another well-worked goal in the 76th minute. Jordan Ball’s inch-perfect cross fell for Richard Stirrup, who headed past the ‘keeper.

Belper thought they had wrapped it up in the 80th minute after Jordan Ball fired past Kahil Mann-Kler, but there was to be late drama when Blenkinsopp converted the spot-kick. But, Belper kept their concentration to win.