An impressive first half display helped 10-men Belper advance to the third round of the Integro League Cup.
Goals from Nathan Curtis and captain Alex Peterson either side of a 28th minute Tyrone Burton equaliser were enough for The Nailers, who face Gresley FC in the next round, to beat AFC Mansfield 2-1 in midweek.
All the problems in the first half, which featured all three goals, were caused by Belper’s new-look front three of Kai Hancock, Piteu Crouz, and George Milner, who were hailed by manager Grant Black after the final whistle.
“Kai knows himself he could have had two or three, as could probably the other two.
“Pace is going to cause many teams problems and when those three use it properly it can be dangerous like it looked tonight.”
A hard foul from Hancock after 73 minutes earned him a second yellow card but, despite the man disadvantage, the Nailers held firm for a deserved win, their second against AFC Mansfield this season.
Black credited his side for their determined performance, saying: “That’s the most pleasing.
“ In the second half it went a bit scrappy and we’ve absolutely dogged out a result.
“Then for 20 minutes to play with ten men is even more pleasing (as it showed) the lads can cope with that.”
Despite the back-to-back home red cards, Black was not concerned.
“If somebody gets sent off for dissent then that’s something I’d come down on. but I don’t want a team of robots, he said.
“I like passionate players. I think Kai’s first booking (was when) he had his back to the ball, so that’s not a yellow card. The second one sort of is.”
After five minutes Belper went in front when they worked the ball across the box, with Danny South teeing up Curtis, whose outside of the foot strike was too much for Tom Crosby in the Mansfield goal.
Derry Robson saw an attempted cross strike the woodwork as Belper dominated the opening quarter, with Hancock denied by the keeper and also lobbing over.
However, after 28 minutes poor marking from a Marsden driven free kick left Burton free to volley home through the legs of Jordan Watson to level the tie.
Belper were only pegged back for six minutes as South provided again, this time for Peterson to brilliantly volley past Crosby.