Belper Town are down

Paul Lister makes it 1-1. Picture by Tim Harrison
Paul Lister makes it 1-1. Picture by Tim Harrison

Belper Town have been relegated to Evo-Stik Division One South after a 2-1 defeat at Nantwich Town.

Their fate has been on the cards for a number of weeks with manager Jimmy Albans still yet to taste victory since replacing Jon Froggatt in the Belper Town hot seat.

Phil Watt and Laurie Wilson missed the game through suspension, while Evan Garnett made his return to the club.

The first half belonged to Nantwich as they played in to the vast winds, and the Nailers had ‘keeper Haystead to thank for keeping them in the game at half time.

Shariff had the first opportunity of the match five minutes in after turning his man on the edge of the box and unleashing a shot from a tight angle which was kept out well by Smith.

However, the remainder of the chances in the first period all came for the home side.

Sean Cooke found space on the edge of the box before trying his luck on goal, but Haystead was able to take the ball comfortably in his grasp.

Cooke soon had another effort from a similar distance which was tipped over by the finger tips of the Nailers stopper.

The Dabbers then took the lead on the 31st minute after a lapse in the Nailers defence.

A long diagonal was sent from left to right as Clayton made his run from deep.

Matthew Varley then misjudged the flight of the ball to miss his header and let Clayton in one-on-one with Haystead.

Clayton’s initial shot was saved well by Haystead, but the ‘keeper could only parry the ball into the thankful path of Liam Shotton who walked the ball into the empty net.

Shotton soon came close again seven minutes before the interval as he worked his way in to the penalty area on the right hand side, and cut back on to his left side to bend the ball towards the far corner, only for the ball to land the wrong side of the post.

The second half showed signs of improvement from the Nailers as the wind was now in their sails.

Shariff had a good effort saved minutes before the hour mark after Grimes has slipped the ball in to his path six yards out from goal.

One minute later Ben Turner saw a free header go five yards over the bar after a quick short corner by Stevenson saw Towey deliver the ball to the back post for the unmarked full-back.

There was a glimmer of hope still to come as Belper equalised on the hour mark after a spell of good pressure.

This time a corner from the left was drilled in by Williams to the back post where Varley headed the ball back in to the danger area for Paul Lister to attack with a meaningful half volley that burst through the bodies and hit the back of the net.

The turnaround nearly came a few minutes later after Evan Garnett came off the bench to produce a moment of brilliance inside the box after letting the ball run across his body to dummy the defender and get his shot away, which was blocked tremendously well by the defender.

However, as has been the tail of so many Belper games in this torrid season, a glimmer of hope soon turned in to a miserable late mistake to concede a goal on the 77th minute to secure their fate of relegation.

Kosylo found space on the right hand side and slipped the ball in to the substitute PJ Hudson, who was somehow completely unmarked inside the box, where he placed the ball to the keepers left to leave Belper questioning where it all went wrong.

Nantwich Town: Smith, Dowling, White, Moran, Harrison, Jones, Clayton (Hudson 67), Osbourne, Shotton (Winslade 90), Cooke (Platt 70), Kosylo. Subs: Hartley.

Belper Town: Haystead, Turner, Matthews (Karkach 75), Lister, Miller, Varley, Towey, Williams, Grimes, Shariff (Garnett 70), Stevenson (Froggatt 87). Subs: Warne.

Referee: T. Kirk.

Attendance: 279.