It has been a much better week for Belper Town, who managed to secure their first victory in the league against Lincoln United last Tuesday and then picked up an away point at Chasetown on Saturday.
After drawing six of their first eight league games, the Nailers finally broke their duck against Lincoln, winning 3-0.
The visitors arrived at Christchurch Meadow, having won their previous two games but never looked like making it three in a row against a more determined and focussed Belper, who were keen not to extend a 25-year-old record of not having won in the first nine league games of a season.
Belper should have made it two in a row when they went to Chasetown as they had the better chances and led by a single goal until the 95th minute when they conceded a what appeared to be a dubious free kick and the Scholars scored an undeserved equaliser.
“We just fell asleep for a split second but that was all it needed to throw two points away,” said a disappointed Peter Duffield. “It happened against Gresley a couple of weeks ago and we paid dearly again last Saturday”
“We should have had two or three goals and put the game out of sight but for some reason we can’t finish teams off and we are dropping valuable points.”
“At least we are creating chances and Simon Harrison and Shaun Tuton could have scored in the second half but their efforts wouldn’t go in.”
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“To be honest I couldn’t criticise the players because they put every effort in and the performance overall was good, but we are letting teams off the hook and we must put that right.”
“We must learn to be ruthless in the opposition penalty area and put those chances away,” he said, “if we can do that then we will soon go up the league.
Duffield was pleased with the performances of his two recent signings, strikers Shaun Tuton and Jared Stephens.
“Jared took his goal well and looked impressive in the short time he has had on the field,” said Duffield, “and Shaun has looked sharp and energetic although he could do with a goal to boost his confidence.”
Karl Colley was back in the reckoning last Saturday after missing the last two games for personal reasons and the game was only 30 minutes old before he had to come on the field to replace Michael Simpkins.
“Simmo tweaked a hamstring and we had to replace him,” said Duffield, “he came in foe Karl against Carlton and then played again against Lincoln, and I perhaps should have rested him on Saturday and to ask him to play three times after being out for a while might have been too much for him.”
The Nailers are back in cup action this weekend when Cammell Laird come to Christchurch Meadow in the 2nd Qualifying round of the FA Trophy and assuming a replay isn’t required they will face Hucknall Town at Christchurch Meadow on Tuesday evening.
The Nailers second string ran riot last Saturday by beating Radford Reserves 11-1 and travel to Matlock Town Reserves this coming Saturday.