Belper Town 9 Romulus 0
Belper Town ran riot against Romulus side on Tuesday and took full advantage with a record nine-goal haul, and, as an added bonus, it was also memorable return to action for striker Jon Froggatt.
Belper manager Peter Duffield elected to leave Jared Stephens on the bench in favour of Mark Ward, while Shaun Roulston was unlucky to be left out following Aaron Pride’s return from suspension.
Mark Ward hit the post at full stretch inside three minutes and Richard Stirrup put the ball over with a follow-up effort as the Nailers started the game brightly.
Belper went one up from the penalty spot in the tenth minute following a bizarre incident in which Romulus defender Richard Munday received a red card for tugging at Shaun Tuton as they both chased a ball into the penalty area.
Simon Harrison converted the spotkick although Lewis Exall nearly saved it, and, just two minutes later, the Nailers were two up when Shaun Tuton struck a tremendous effort from 22 yards that flew into the top corner leaving Exall rooted to the spot.
Belper tightened their stranglehold on the game in the 17th minute when Colin Marrison headed past Exall following a Simon Harrison free-kick, and the Nailers now had the opportunity to run up a big score against a shellshocked Romulus side.
Daniel O’Callaghan was booked for handling the ball on the edge of the penalty area in the 31st minute, but Colin Marrison’s free-kick hit the defensive wall and was cleared to safety.
Shaun Tuton did well to create an opening for a shot on the edge of the penalty area on 40 minutes but hit the ball disappointingly high over the bar.
Belper should have scored almost straight from the second half restart after Mark Ward slipped the ball the ball through to Shaun Tuton, whose shot was blocked by Lewis Exall, and Simon Harrison couldn’t force the ball over the line.
However, Tuton wasn’t to be denied in the 52nd minute when he went on a 30-yard run, taking the ball past three or four players before tucking the ball away from the edge of the six-yard area to score a superb individual goal.
Karl Colley forced a great save from Lewis Exall moments after the restart as the Nailers looked to get a fifth goal, and they were helped along the way when Daniel O’Callaghan was sent off after receiving a second yellow card following a trip on Colin Marrison.
Mark Ward’s resulting free-kick shaved the crossbar, however in the 61st minute Steve Warne scored a cracking goal with a perfectly-struck low volley from just outside the penalty area.
There was a big cheer in the 70th minute when Jon Froggatt made his long awaited return to first team action, and the Nailers were soon celebrating their sixth goal when Richard Stirrup blasted in an unstoppable shot from 16 yards.
Jon Froggatt made it a scoring comeback in the 77th minute with a close-range lob that was given as a goal after it had been hooked off the line, and then Jared Stephens just missed by inches as he ran through unchallenged on the ‘keeper.
Romulus virtually stood and watched the Nailers walk through their defence with Richard Stirrup having all the time in the world to place his shot wide of Mark Bowen, the Romulus substitute goalkeeper.
Colin Marrison scored a ninth goal from ten yards, and the Nailers can look back on a memorable evening in which they did their confidence, and their goal difference, a power of good.
Belper Town: Ratcliffe, Pride, Wright, Marrison, Adams (Roulston 53), Colley, Harrison, Warne, Ward (Froggatt 70), Tuton (Stephens 73), Stirrup. Unused subs: Rushbury, Chapman.
Romulus: Exall (Bowen 74), Wynter, Facey, Robinson, Munday, Jackson (Beckley 36), Ravenhill, Walker, O’Callaghan, Amory, Jackson. Unused sub: Meakin-Richards.
Referee: Ben Cooke (Atherstone)
Photo by Tim Harrison