Belper Town FC finished off their pre-season preparations in positive style, with a victory and a clean sheet in front of their home supporters at the Marston’s Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
A goal from Evan Garnett was enough to claim the victory.
However, manager Peter Duffield felt the game could have been put to bed after the first 45 minutes.
“The first half was great by us, we created lots of chances and the game could have been over by half-time. Understandably, Sutton Coldfield came out in the second half and were the better side. However the way we defended yesterday was much more pleasing than the previous Tuesday after conceding four goals and making sloppy mistakes.”
He continued, “It’s been good for us to play against Carlton and Sutton Coldfield this last week, as they’ve been realistic games for us in terms of the test we will face in the league from now on. We had difficult games against them both in the league last season and they are two of the better teams in Division One.”
Looking ahead to the new season in the Evo-Stik League Premier Division, Duffield was keen to ensure his players are feeling confident in their own ability, as the step up in quality begins from the very first minute.
“We got promoted last season and many of our players have played at this level, therefore, the players need to be confident they can perform and show that they belong in this league.
“It’s a very tough start for us, but as per usual we’ll only focus on each game at a time, which for us is Ashton United on Saturday at home. They are a great side and they always start the season well, so we need to be ready for it. We need to believe we can do it.”
Finally, the manager laid down the law with his players, insisting a starting 11 is yet to be decided, and places are still up for grabs. “The players need to give everything they’ve got now, as there are still positions we haven’t made decisions on yet.
“It’s a great problem to have as a management team, but it’s a problem I want to continue having throughout the season, and therefore the players need to be on their ‘A game’ throughout.”
Follow the Nailers on their new journey to the Evo-Stik Premier League as they kick off on Saturday against Ashton United at the Marston’s Stadium, with a 3pm kick off.