Belper Town 2, Maltby Main 0
The Nailers took the unprecedented step of entering a tournament that added an element of competitiveness to their pre season preparations.
Held at Teversal Football Club, Belper played their first game against Maltby Main last Wednesday evening where the biggest surprise of the evening was the appearance of former manager Andy Carney and his assistant Gary Middleton on the opposition’s team sheet.
It was the first chance to see the new line up introduced by manager Tommy Taylor and while there were some players absent for various reasons, there were plenty of fresh faces on view for supporters to get familiar with.
Of the sixteen players involved just six were known names from the Andy Carney era with Richard Adams, Liam Davis, Jon Froggatt and Luke Fedorenko being included from the start.
It was a comfortable first 45 minutes for the Nailers who gelled well considering the majority of the players hadn’t played together before, and it looked all sewn up at half time with goals from Lee Morris (26) and Jon Froggatt (34) putting Belper in charge.
Andy Richmond in the Mailers’ goal had very little to do in the first half, but following five changes at half time only some poor Maltby finishing prevented the erosion of Belper’s lead.
Mark Camm and Tommy Hannigan looked very solid at the back until they were substituted at half time, and Joaquin Ortuna Mas (Perito) who has come over from Spain to try his luck under former manager Tommy Taylor, also looked a dangerous prospect up front.
It wasn’t as convincing in the second period as Maltby had more of the play, but the Nailers showed flashes of constructive football on occasions, and Andy Carney rolled back the years with a superb save mid way the half to keep his side in with a shout.
While it was good to get the pre-season programme off to a good start no doubt Tommy Taylor’s attention was centred on the team performance and of those individuals who have to prove themselves worthy of a place in the squad.
The Nailers will be back at Carnarvon Street on Wednesday evening (13th) when they will face Parkgate in the tournament semi final.
If they are successful in this round they will play the final on Saturday, July 16 at Teversal, kick-off is 3pm.