Williams’ brace helps Nailers to an opening day victory at Kidsgrove

Jonathan Williams scored twice.
Jonathan Williams scored twice.

Belper Town began the new season in style with a 3-1 win at Kidsgrove Athletic on Saturday.

Kidsgrove looked as if they would live up to the expectation of being one of the early season favourites early on in the game, as despite possession being very even, they found themselves with the majority of the early chances.

Most of these chances were falling to Anthony Malbon, however he could not find his way past Danny Haystead in the opening few minutes. Phil Watt and Gerome Palmer were also making life very difficult for him and were clearly beginning to frustrate him.

Eventually it was the Nailers who took the lead after 29 minutes. A superb cross from the right by Matt Richards found its way to Jonathan Williams and his superb volley thundered into the top corner of the net.

This gave the Nailers a boost and they started to create a lot more chances, but it would be the hosts who would score next just before half-time.

In the 43rd minute, Watt attempted to clear the ball away in the penalty area, however he caught the Kidsgrove forward instead of the ball, forcing the referee to point to the spot.

Malbon stepped up to take the penalty and stroked the ball into the bottom left hand corner, just out of the reach of Haystead, to make it all square going into the break.

When the Nailers came back out for the second-half, they were clearly determined to regain their lead, with improved passing and quick movement off the ball.

This impressive passing lead to Alex Steadman receiving the ball in the centre of the box and he unselfishly played a superb back heel to Williams who provided another excellent finish to restore the Nailers’ lead.

In the latter stages of the game, Kidsgrove were committing a lot of men forward, however they were finding it difficult to break down a formidable Belper Town defence.

Despite all of this pressure, Belper managed to extended their lead, as Kidsgrove keeper Krystian Burzynski found the ball at his feet and was quickly being closed down by Rueben Wiggins-Thomas. Burzynski tried to take the ball around the striker but it was snatched from him by Wiggins-Thomas who found the empty net to kill the game off.

Belper: Danny Haystead, Kyle Bryant, Jonathan Guy, Eric Graves, Gerome Palmer, Phil Watt, Matt Richards, Jonathan Williams, Reuben Wiggins-Thomas, Jermaine Hollis, Alex Steadman. Used subs: Mike Armstrong, Dominic Allen, Jordan Ball. Unused subs: Louis Keenan and Jermaine Palmer. Att: 165