Belper Town continued their hot streak with a sixth successive victory, emphatically beating hosts Rainworth MW 4-1 on Saturday.
The win extended their impressive record to ten victories from their last 12 games.
Goals from Colin Marrison, James Cullingworth, Jon Froggatt and Sam Duncum ensured Belper strengthen their position in the Evo-Stik League Division One South after Mickleover could only earn a point on the same day.
Manager Peter Duffield was content with the final score, but insisted the performance level needs to remain as high as possible to ensure the momentum stays with the Nailers into the play-off semi-finals.
“It was a difficult game for us on what was a difficult pitch, but it’s that time of the year for football pitches where they have endured the wear and tear of a season.
“I thought we dominated the game in the first half but without really creating too much in front of goal. We had a very sloppy period ten minutes before half-time, but we were able to go in at half-time scoreless. The second half was so much better going forward, and once we got the first goal the shackles were lifted and we began to play good football again.”
He noted: “The pressure is off us now in terms of having a play-off place secure, although the performance level must not drop as we need to go into the play-offs in good form with good spirit. The important thing for my players to remember is that they are playing for a place in the play-off semi-final.
“Those who perform at a high level will start that game, it’s as simple as that, and that is the best motivation for them possible.”
“We must give credit to Rainworth, they kept pushing and they never let their heads drop, which is why they scored a goal, although that’s disappointing from our point of view.”
Duffield was forced to shuffle the pack for the game, with Dan White being deemed unfit to play. “Dan has a knock on his ankle, and he wasn’t able to play, no matter how much we would have wanted too. Hopefully, he’ll be OK for next week but we’ll have to wait and see.
“Dan has been magnificent for us and he is a top player. We need to protect him as he is very important to us for the long term, not just for one game.”
The manager concluded by once again thanking the fans for their continued support, and feels the support will only make his side stronger, the longer it continues. “The fans were brilliant for us again, and made plenty of noise. I can imagine most of the supporters at the game were Belper supporters on Saturday.”
The Nailers’ next fixture comes on Saturday, at home to Brigg Town, with a 3pm kick off.