Belper Town beaten by promotion-chasing Ilkeston FC

Rob Duffy heads Ilkeston FC into the lead. Pic by Tim Harrison
Rob Duffy heads Ilkeston FC into the lead. Pic by Tim Harrison

Belper Town were beaten by a single goal on Bank Holiday Monday away to promotion-chasers Ilkeston FC.

The goal came early in the second half for the Robins as they held out to take all three points, despite the Nailers’ best efforts.

Manager Jimmy Albans changed to a 4-3-3 formation as Kern Miller was unavailable due to work commitments so Watt and Lister partnered each other at centre half with Matthews and Turner both deployed to full-back.

Indeed it was Belper who shaded the first half and produced more chances than the home side.

Rob Stevenson cut inside from the left wing six minutes in and beat two players before drilling his Los shot wide of the near post.

Kane Richards had a good opportunity on the tenth minutes as he beat Matthews for pace for the left inside channel and placed his shot past the on-rushing Haystead, although his shot was only steered in to the side netting.

Newly instated captain Laurie Wilson was pulling the strings for the Nailers, and his clever pass to Garnett inside the box saw the forward rifle a shot on goal, which was palmed away by the fists of Smith.

The remainder of the first half produced little in front of goal, as both sides struggled to break through their opposition defences.

The second half began with a goal just two minutes in as the home side took the lead.

David Morgan stood over a free kick to the right hand side which was swung in towards the back post.

Rob Duffy then arrived unmarked to power his header in to the back of the net, despite Haystead getting a finger tip to the ball.

The remaining chances fell for the Nailers as they struggled to find their clinical edge. Matthews and Wilson both came relatively close around the hour mark as their speculative efforts caused the goalkeeper more problems than first anticipated.

Michael Towey soon has a headed effort saved well by the keeper as Matthews continued to deliver good crosses in to the opposing penalty box.

Shariff snd Froggatt were both introduced late on for the Nailers and each came close to finding the equaliser.

Ben Turner played the ball up towards Grimes who played a neat flick on in to the path of Shariff who was on to it like a flash.

Shariff then stormed in to the penalty area down the right side and fired his shot on goal which was beaten away by Smith, giving Shariff a second bite at the cherry, only for his second attempt to go amiss due to an untimely slip by the striker.

Richards soon found himself completely clear on goal with two minutes remaining as he snook in behind the defence to latch on to a through ball.

Although Haystead came to the rescue as he dived bravely at the feet of Richards to take the ball from his path.

Immediately from the save, Haystead fired the ball up and the ball was flicked on into the path of Froggatt, whose half volley from 12 yards was tipped over in fine style as it looked certain Froggatt was going to score.

One minute later, Shariff had another opportunity inside the box as the ball fell kindly for him, and again his shot easy kept his out of sight of goal as the defender blocked his shot just two yards away from the goal line, to deflect the ball up.

Ilkeston FC: Smith, Shaw, Reid, Baker, Burgess, Lane, Morgan, Chettle, Duffy (Simons 86), Richards, Williams (Wright 64). Subs: Gorman, Colqhoun, Wright, Burrows.

Belper Town: Haystead, Turner, Matthews (Froggatt 87), Lister, Watt (Varley 84), Towey, Wilson, Williams, Grimes, Garnett (Shariff 79), Stevenson.

Referee: C. Akers (Rotherham).

Attendance: 548.