Charlie Palmer: ‘First half red card rocked Belper’

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Belper Town manager Charlie Palmer admitted that Danny Haystead’s first half dismissal rocked his side.

And despite battling well with only ten men for over an hour they couldn’t prevent Basford taking one more step towards a play-off spot.

“We had already lost Phil Watt after barely 15 minutes and when Danny rushed out and got himself red carded we were always going to be up against it, said Palmer.

“I saw Basford play Leek earlier in the week and we had a game plan which the players took on board and I thought that under the circumstances we did quite well.”

“I feel sure that had it been 11 v 11 we could have got something from the game, yet it’s hard to accept another home defeat even though it was against a good side.”

“We have played against all the top teams now so we have something to judge ourselves by, but there is a big difference in standard between the top four and the rest.”

Phil Watt is a crucial player for the Nailers, but is struggling with a groin injury and he may have to take some time off playing to get his himself right again.

“Watty is an important player and we need him to be fit for the Derbyshire Senior Cup Final,” said Palmer, “I am going to have to get another central defender in because Gerome (Palmer) is also struggling with his knee.”

The manager’s son had a knee operation in November and still gets swelling after he plays,

“He came back too early”, said Palmer,”and he will have to go back to the specialist to see what can be done.”

Rob Stevenson is still unavailable because of a hamstring problem and as the Nailers’ main attacking threat is being missed by the team and supporters alike.

“I’m hoping he will be back in the squad soon,” said Palmer, “but in the meantime I need to find another striker to provide a goal threat for us for the rest of the season.”

New signing Luke Edwards was unfortunate to be the player to make way when Haystead was sent off and must be in the record books for one of the shortest starting debuts after lasting less than half an hour.

Palmer added:“He was a little disappointed but understood why I had to do it; he hasn’t played for a while and wouldn’t have been on for a full game, but hopefully he will have more time in the next game to show what he can do.”

A player who impressed earlier in the season but hasn’t been seen in the Nailers’ squad is Ben Turner, however Palmer is confident that he will remain with the club for next season.

“He’s desperate to get back playing again but I’ve told him to write off this season and come back fully fit in the summer,” said Palmer. “I’m confident that he will stay with us for next season as he is a player I rate highly.”