After the disappointment of relinquishing a 2-0 lead in midweek to Brigg Town, there was relief after Belper Town gained their first victory at the third attempt last Saturday.
It was a frustrating game for the most part but Andy Rushbury’s tremendous strike in his 296th game for the Nailers was worthy of winning any game and at any level.
Rainworth arrived at Christchurch Meadow having disposed of Shepshed and Grantham in the previous two games and demonstrated a dogged resistance and the ability keep plugging away, making it a frustrating afternoon for players and supporters alike.
Manager Tommy Taylor, while happy to have got his first win under his belt wasn’t entirely happy with his side’s performance.
“To be honest I thought it was the worst game of the three we’ve played,” he said.
“We allowed ourselves to be bullied off the ball and we found it difficult to string more than three or four passes together.
“In fact our passing was dire at times and our football didn’t flow like it did against Newcastle and Brigg.”
The Nailers let a 2-0 lead slip against Brigg and Taylor wasn’t happy with the way the Zebras pulled the game back to 2-2.
“We didn’t pick up the player who scored the first goal and unfortunately Andy Richmond slipped for the second, but that’s football for you, one minute you are coasting to victory, the next it’s all gone wrong.”
“I thought we were firmly in control against Brigg after Froggy headed the second goal and if we’d kept our heads we would have got six points now rather than four.”
The Nailers have two away fixtures coming up.
They travel to Lincoln United in midweek and to Romulus on Saturday and Taylor is setting his stall out to gain maximum points from both.
“It’s big pitch at Lincoln and that might suit us,” he said.
“If we can get something from Romulus that will set us up for the big derby game at home to Ilkeston on Bank Holiday Monday.”
Deon Meikle is emerging as one of the key players in the Belper side and has been instrumental in the opening games of this season.
He had to leave the field in the first half against Brigg suffering from concussion and apparently played last Saturday still suffering the after effects.
Taylor explained: “Deon was a little quiet against Rainworth because he was still suffering a bit. He will be a key player for us this season but he was a little off the pace last Saturday, However, I expect he will be back to his best for the Lincoln game.”
Meanwhile, Paris Simmons is back in town again and manager Taylor has been impressed with him.
“He looks really good in training and I can’t wait to see him playing. He has experience at a high level and that shows through. I am pleased he has decided to sign for us again this season” said Taylor.
Nailers’ supporters may need a little more persuading after an enigmatic season under Andy Carney in which he spent more time on the bench than on the field, but hopefully Paris will respond to Taylor’s coaching methods and we will see the undoubted talent shine through when he gets his chance.
Richard Adams has been the surprise success of the season so far with his impressive performances at right back keeping out Rob Ludlam.
“He’s done really well even though it’s not his natural position,” said Taylor. “He has rarely been in trouble and adds height to the defence which is useful when we defend from free kicks and corners.”
Taylor would like to hear more noise at home games!
“It’s too quiet at Christchurch Meadow and players respond to noise from the crowd so if anyone has trumpets and drums it would be great to hear them and it would add to the atmosphere, and believe me the players would appreciate it.”
Belper Town will be breaking new ground in the FA Cup this season when they travel to Deeping Rangers in the preliminary round to be played on September 3.
The Nailers have a busy weekend coming up beginning with a trip to Romulus on Saturday then the promise of a bumper Bank Holiday crowd when Ilkeston FC come to Christchurch Meadow on Monday, August 29.