Belper Town secured a well-earned point on Saturday at Carlton Town in a 1-1 draw.
Nailers’ manager Peter Duffield was able to name new signing Kieran Wells on the bench. Colin Marrison made his return to the team at right wing, with Simon Harrison dropping to right back for the absent Chris Jones.
The game began with Belper retaining the majority of play in their opponents’ half as chances came early on.
The first opening came for the in-form defender Richard Adams on the seventh minute when he volleyed a corner well with his right foot, but his powerful shot was blocked on the line by the defender.
Four minutes later, a good piece of interchange between Jon Froggatt and Mark Ward saw the latter played through, and his shot from the edge of the area was well blocked and cleared for a corner.
Richard Adams had another chance after a corner was cleared well, and Liam Davis played a brilliant long ball back into the danger area for Adams to leap above his marker and send a powerful header on target, which was superbly saved by McDonald.
The resulting corner from the right saw Adams once again have a chance, this time his speculative volley dropped a yard over the bar.
The chances kept coming for the Nailers as Mark Ward saw another shot blocked well by the defender from the edge and the Millers were hanging on.
The second half started perfectly for Belper after another dangerous ball into the box was driven, this time by Cotton, for Richard Adams to head the ball just wide of the right hand post.
The breakthrough finally came on the 51st minute as a loss of concentration by Carlton’s defence gave Froggatt a chance to steal in and lay Mark Ward up with a perfectly weighted ball for Ward to slide into the far right corner.
Ward was nearly at the double when his shot from the left edge of the area was tipped just over the bar.
However, a stunning piece of individual skill was on show for Carlton as Sammy MacVicar picked the ball up from a throw, turned Philip Watt and teed up what became a thunderous drive from 30 yards out to hit the back of the net and shell shock the Nailers.
Captain Lee Potts nearly sent the Millers ahead after a left-footed effort was saved wonderfully well by Ratcliffe.
Late chances then came for both sides with Alex Troke trying his luck from range for the hosts, saved well by Ratcliffe.
Substitute Chris Adam nearly won it for the Nailers after Harrison played him through and his shot was hit low to the far post, sailing just wide to the Millers’ delight.
Carlton Town: Curtis McDonald, Kallum Keane, Billy Bennett, Alexander Troke, Lee Torr, Martin Ball, Josh Thornton, Daniel Elliot, Sammy MacVicar, Blair Anderson (Ben Flynn 86), Lee Potts (Jordan Vilums 76). Subs: Shyheim Reid.
Belper Town: Dave Ratcliffe, Simon Harrison, Liam Davis, Glyn Cotton, Philip Watt, Richard Adams, Colin Marrison, Steve Warne, Jon Froggatt (Kieran Wells 86), Mark Ward (Shaun Tuton 76), Sam Duncum (Chris Adam 81). Subs: Andy Rushbury, Scot Low.
Referee: Chris Woodall (Sheffield)