Battling Nailers lose 3-1 to the Spireites in pre-season match

Belper v Chesterfield''Photo by Tim Harrison
Belper v Chesterfield''Photo by Tim Harrison

Belper Town followed the five-goal thrashing of Teversal a week ago with a a rather different pre-season encounter against a young Chesterfield side at Christchurch Meadow on Saturday afternoon.

From a game that could have gone either way, the Spireites went on to win the match 3-1, despite a hatful of chances for Belper Town, in front of a crowd of 209.

The first 20 minutes proved to be the most thrilling with three goals scored and a number of close calls for both sides.

The Spireites’ stand out player, Javi, got the ball rolling after five minutes with an eye-catching piece of magic after picking the ball up 30 yards from goal to begin sprinting through the Nailers defenders. The number 7 ghosted his way into the penalty area and struck a low right-footed shot, saved well by James Martin.

A minute later, the Nailers were left wondering how they hadn’t taken the lead from a well-worked corner. Aaron Cole was on set-piece duty, and his cross from the right hand side was drilled to the far post where Dan White attacked the ball well, only to head against the post from three yards out with the keeper caught out of position.

Inevitably, when one team misses a good opportunity, the other goes on the score, and Chesterfield proved worthy of their opener. After a bright seven minutes to the game, they worked the ball well from left to right and began dissecting their way through the Belper defence. Javi again showed good persistence to run through the challenges, and his half volleyed pass beyond the keeper to Jake Beesley was headed home into the back of the empty net.

Two minutes later, Aaron Cole received the ball right of centre and cut inside to dribble forward. Cole then unleashed an unstoppable effort with his left foot from 25 yards, which left the keeper standing, only for his shot to crash against the bar and deny him a wonder goal.

Continuing the early end-to-end theme of the game then saw a neat one-two between Curtis Morrison and Jake Beesley result in Morrison being fouled down the right side of the penalty area by Aaron Pride, with an unquestionable penalty given to Chesterfield.

Javi stepped up to take it, and coolly placed the ball into the right-hand corner on 12 minutes.

The Nailers responded in good fashion and Aaron Cole was at it again, this time down the right flank. His pace and power had proved a problem for Luke Randle all game, and on this occasion Cole has motored his way past the fullback to the line, and fired a ball across the face of the goal for Jordan Ball to attack, only for good defending by Jack Broadhead. The ball then came through to Rob Stevenson on the left inside the area, who picked his spot well and sidefooted the ball beyond the keeper to half the Nailers deficit.

Both sides continued to create chances for the remainder of the first half, as Dan White came close on two occasions and Aaron Cole shooting just over.

The second half proved tamer than the first. Five minutes into the restart saw a good move by Belper finish agonisingly close to an equaliser. Jack Andrews played the ball over for Evan Garnett on the right side, who spun in well beyond his defender. Garnett then laid the ball back for Jordan Ball who blazed over.

Following a string of substitutes, Kieran Wells won Belper a penalty on the hour mark, only for Jon Froggatt to uncharacteristically see his spot kick saved by Miles Wright.

The Spireites then went on to put the game to bed with a goal from Michael Onoykeu on the 80th minute, following static defending by the Nailers which led to a jinking run by the number eight and a neat finish beyond the goalkeeper.

The result won’t matter too much for Belper Town, and a good test of fitness and ability proved successful on a day which ended in extreme stormy weather.