Belper Town had to be satisfied with a point after dominating most of this game against Brigg Town, although credit should go to the Zebras’ back line, who snuffed out most of the Nailers’ attacking efforts.
The Nailers were able to field a strong line-up with the only absentee being Richard Adams, unavailable due to suspension.
The Nailers put pressure on the Brigg goal in the early stages with crosses and corner kicks testing the Zebras’ defenders and, in the seventh minute, Karl Colley headed a Simon Harrison corner just over the top.
Richard Stirrup couldn’t find the target in the 11th minute after a neat three-man move gave him the opportunity, then soon afterwards Mark Ward struck a beauty from the edge of the area that Miles Fenty did well to push wide.
Shaun Roulston nearly converted a corner kick in the 14th minute but the ball skimmed the crossbar, and moments later Colin Marrison jumped above everyone to nod a free-kick just wide.
After dominating the first 20 minutes, the game slowed down as the visitors began to get more possession, and, even when the Nailers were able to press forward, they found the Zebras’ defenders in good form.
Brigg had their first shot on goal in the 36th minute when Liam Davis hit a low drive that Aaron Chapman stopped cleanly. However, the Nailers were waiting for their first clear opportunity despite all the corners and free kicks.
The Nailers needed to step things up in the second half and began with two consecutive corner kicks that came to nothing.
Karl Colley jumped well to head a third corner just over the cross bar, but it certainly wasn’t all one-way traffic as the Zebras had the ability to counter attack quickly.
In an attempt to break the stalemate, manager Peter Duffield elected to introduce Jon Froggatt in place of Mark Ward, and he soon made an impact with an excellent ball over the top for Shaun Tuton to run onto but the Belper striker delayed too long and when he got his shot away it was blocked.
The Nailers found themselves a goal down on 64 minutes when Ryan Paczkowski sent a looping header over Aaron Chapman and into the far corner.
Andy Rushbury was unfortunate to see a far post header knocked away by the ‘keeper in the 80th minute and Belper were working hard for the equaliser
It came in the 85th minute when Jon Froggatt picked out Darryl Thomas with a peach of a pass and the former Ilkeston striker went on to score his first goal since rejoining Belper with an accomplished finish and inthe latter stages Belper looked more likely to get a winner.
Referee: Alix Pashley.
Man of the Match: Shaun Roulston.