First Division South
Belper Town 3
Ilkeston FC 1
BELPER Town took the local derby plaudits after seeing off newly-formed Ilkeston FC 3-1 in a rousing game at Christchurch Meadows on August Bank Holiday Monday.
The visitors squandered enough chances to have taken at least a point from the game but the points belonged to the Nailers.
Manager Tommy Taylor rang the changes ollowing Saturday’s defeat against Romulus.
The Ilkeston line up included former Belper players Darryl Thomas and Russell Peel and the Robins arrived in third place in the league table, although like Belper they suffered a set-back in that they had also lost their previous game.
Tyrell Waite gave the Nailers an anxious moment in the fourth minute when he sped past Aaron Pride but fortunately his cross from the bye-line was a little too high for Gary Ricketts and Darryl Thomas.
The visitors forced the pace in the early stages and the Nailers had some defending to do but with Andy Rushbury always available on the left, this was an outlet which proved a thorn in the Robins’ side.
Ilkeston opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Gary Ricketts stuck a first time effort from just outside the penalty area and after striking the far upright, the ball rested just inside the opposite post,
Andy Rushbury hit a rising shot over the cross bar as the Nailers tried to fashion an equaliser, however Andy Richmond prevented another Ilkeston goal in the 25th minute when he came out bravely to deny Thomas who had looked set to score after running through unchallenged.
The Nailers continued to drive forward but their play lacked the decisive final ball and if they lost possession, the threat on the break was always there from the Robins.
Paris Simmons was unlucky with a 32nd minute free kick that struck the cross bar but within a minute the Nailers had equalised after an awful error from Joe Wilcox let in Jon Froggatt who immediately spotted that Lee Morris was in the perfect position to guild the ball into the unguarded net.
Ilkeston responded with another lightening run from Waite and this time the experienced Darren Caskey fired the ball over from eight yards, then as the visitors picked up the pace Ricketts somehow missed the target as he stretched to reach a Thomas cross.
Lee Morris sent the Nailers into the half time interval with a 2-1 lead after a Paris Simmons flick wrong-footed the Ilkeston defenders and he took full advantage of the brief opportunity that came to him by stabbing the ball under Aaron Butcher.
However, Ricketts had come very close to getting an equaliser on the half time whistle following an overhead kick that came back off the post to Andy Richmond.
The Nailers made a lively start to the second period with Rushbury forcing Butcher into an uncomfortable looking save and Froggatt just failing to get a near post cross into the danger area.
The was plenty of cut and thrust in the opening exchanges and Damien Magee went into the referee’s notebook for a late tackle on Thomas, and indirectly from the free kick Adam Colton was a whisker away with a half volley from outside the penalty area.
It had developed into a very open game and a few fouls were creeping as the intensity increased.
Rushbury received a rare yellow card in the 60th minute and with both teams pushing hard the Nailers had a miraculous let off in the 67th minute when Andy Richmond let a Tyrell Waite cross go underneath him, but Damien Magee got back in time to clear the ball off the line.
The game turned dramatically in the 70th minute after Lee Morris sent Deon Meikle away with just the ‘keeper to beat and as he attempted to side-step him, Butcher tripped him leaving the referee no choice but to award a penalty.
Froggatt stepped up to drive the ball under the ‘keeper who had dived the right way and was very close to saving it.
There was still plenty of hard graft for the Nailers to get through even though they now had the cushion of an extra goal, and there was another nervous moment in the 89th minute when Ilkeston seemingly walked through the Belper defence but Josh Wisdom blasted a great chance over the bar from 12 yards.
Jamie Smith might have done better when he ghosted through the Ilkeston defence moments later but delayed before shooting, then put his second effort well wide.
Belper Town: Richmond, Pride, Magee, Camm, Plant, Hannigan, Simmons (Wiggins-Thomas 45), Meikle, Froggatt, Morris (Ortuno 79), Rushbury (Smith 70). Unused subs: Spargo, Adams.
Ilkeston FC: Butcher, Wilcox, Cullingworth, Colton (Wisdom 77), Hill, Partridge, Waite (Colclough 77), Caskey, Ricketts, Thomas, Green. Unused subs: Burton, Swift.
Referee: Geoff Law (Leicester)
Match sponsor: Rogers Leask (Consulting Civil and Structural Engineers)
Man of the match: Matt Plant