Belper Town bounced back from their midweek setback at Coalville Town to record an emphatic 6-2 victory over old adversaries Brigg Town at the Hawthorns on Saturday.
Belper manager Peter Duffield kept his squad in the changing rooms for over 45 minutes after their disappointing showing against the Ravens on Tuesday evening, but there were smiles all round as the Zebras fell to a much more impressive display.
Andy Rushbury was on the bench as Chris Jones came in for his first game at right back and Lee Thompson switched to the left flank.
Chris Adam and Shaun Tuton were in the starting line up as the Nailers looked to restore confidence after suffering their first defeat of the new season.
Adam began an impressive performance from him with a sweetly struck half-volley, then flew straight at Robert Zand in the first minute, but the hosts quickly got into their stride and had the better of the first 15 minutes or so.
Adam had a chance in the 15th minute but chose to pull the ball back to the edge of the area when he would have been justified in taking a shot himself, and then an impressive Belper move ended with Adam shooting just wide from 15 yards.
Brigg’s Paul Ashton forced Scott Low into a good save in the 22nd minute and Jordan Thewliss should have done better with the follow-up shot that flew beyond the far post.
The Nailers began to warm to the task after half an hour and Colin Marrison hit a low shot narrowly wide in the 28th minute.
The Nailers created an opener out of nothing in the 29th minute when Chris Jones floated over a superb cross that just cleared the last defender, leaving Chris Adam to nod the ball down, and then over the despairing ‘keeper for the ball to rest in the corner of the net.
Belper doubled their advantage in the 32nd minute when Colin Marrison turned well to send a precise shot just inside the far post, and Belper had engineered themselves into a commanding position without having looked particularly dominant.
Richard Adams conceded a penalty in the last minute of the half and Zebras’ skipper Paul Grimes tucked the ball away from the penalty spot.
Scott Hellewell could easily have levelled the scores just before the whistle with a header that went past the far post, and the Nailers went in for the break slightly fortunate to hold an interval lead.
The second period saw Belper looking much more organised and as the half wore on they began to dominate the play.
Shaun Tuton’s industry created the goal that restored Belper’s two-goal advantage and effectively secured the points for the Nailers in the 64th minute.
After a strong run down the right side, he picked out Chris Adam completely unmarked on the edge of the penalty area. Adam struck the ball cleanly first time, and hit the ball so hard it bounced against the advertising at the back of the goal and into play again, leaving the referee looking unsure as to whether to award a goal or not.
Confidence began to ebb away from the young Zebras team and before long Belper struck again when Jon Froggatt pounced to tap the ball home on 73 minutes after Robert Zand could only parry Chris Jones’s shot into his path.
Jon Froggatt turned the screw five minutes later when he skipped past Zand to tuck away his fifth goal of the season, and although Jordan Thewliss reduced the arrears with a fierce shot on 85 minutes, the Nailers rounded off a fine win with a well taken Tuton volley.
The Nailers may have started tentatively but they finished the game in total control.