On a foul night at the Marston’s Stadium Belper Town won their first home game of the new season with a deserved 2-1 victory of third placed Newcastle Town.
Manager Any Danylyk will be pleased with the way his team is shaping up and his players proved that if they can cut out silly errors and convert more of their chances, they could be a force to reckon with as the season progresses.
Sam Birks continued an unwanted trend of missed opportunities by slicing a great chance wide of the target inside the first minute, and Alex Steadman might have expected a better return with an angled shot six minutes later.
A buoyant first 30 minutes or so was rewarded when Kieran O’Connell was ideally placed on the edge of the six yard area to drill the ball over the line to give the Nailers a deserved 27th minute lead.
A 30th minute effort from O’Connell fizzed past the far post and with the rain coming down in torrents, Sam Birks’s speculative effort bounced on the cross bar.
Newcastle looked stronger in the last 10 minutes of the half, and Tom Urwin had time to control the ball from a corner kick and clipped the cross bar with a fine effort.
John Higham’s shot came off the inside of the post and was cleared by a Belper defender and a strong finish to the half from the visitors saw Aaron Bott run virtually unchallenged for 30 yards before shooting past the upright.
The Nailers maintained their edge in possession after the break and created some promising situations without testing the Newcastle ‘keeper Raajan Gill.
Kieran O’Connell did well to dispossess Oliver Davies on 64 minutes before running on and whipping a good shot just over the bar.
The visitor’s came close to equalising moments later but Belper ‘keeper Danny Roberts saved Tom Urwin’s effort magnificently before a follow up shot hit the side netting.
Aaron Bott forced Roberts into another important save on 70 minutes and the Nailers needed that second goal to ease the pressure.
Skipper Eric Graves provided it with a fantastic shot from well outside the area with 15 minutes to go
and all Belper had to do was to concentrate on seeing the game out.
Chris Budrys came close to making victory certain with a glancing header just wide on 87 minutes, but with the game well past the scheduled three minutes added on time, Belper conceded a last minute goal scored by Tom Urwin.
All in all, a good performance from the Nailers which hopefully will breed confidence for the challenges to come.
Belper Town: Roberts, Dennis (Thornberry 37), Allen, Graves, Hunt, Guy, Birks (Atkinson 73), Goddard, Budrys, O’Connell (Garnett 77), Steadman. Subs unused: Constable, Rathbone.
Newcastle Town: Gill, Bradbury (Thomas 77), Davies, Askey L, Askey J, Dennis, Bott, Wilson, Higham (Bailey 51), Urwin, Kapend (Ritchie 78). Sub unused: Bridge.
Referee: Paul Buck.