Belper Town came out on top against Nottinghamshire neighbours Carlton town to record their third consecutive league victory with a 2-1 win.
Manager Anthony Danylyk elected to keep exactly the same line up, including substitutes as he looked to continue the good form that his side have been producing lately.
There was a close call for Belper in opening minute when Daniel Gordon broke down the left and Daniel Elliot almost swept the ball home at the far post. Harry Gibbons forced Danny Roberts into a good save in the 5th minute with a rising shot as Carlton showed up well in the opening stages.
Reece Bertram hit a speculative effort well wide on 15 minutes and the Nailers were waiting to register their meaningful attack as the visitors had held the majority of possession in the Belper half.
Leandro Browne twisted and turned into the Carlton 18 yard box but his shot was blocked before it could gain any momentum. The Millers deservedly took the lead on 25 minutes when Harry Gibbon’s deflected cross was glanced over everyone just inside the far post by Kaylum Mitchell.
The Nailers responded well with intense pressure and Alex Steadman ran to the by line on 28 minutes but couldn’t make the best of the cross.
From the resulting corner, Jack Steggles came and missed the ball but Carlton managed to clear their lines, and they had survived the Nailers’ retaliation at least for the time being. However Belper were rewarded for their new found enthusiasm on 32 minutes when Eric Graves turned and hit an angled shot into the far corner; a finely struck goal it must be said.
Eric Graves worked his way to the by line and his acute cross shot was kicked off the line by a Millers’ defender and the transformation since the Carlton goal had been remarkable. Aaron Hooton put the ball in the net for the visitors on the cusp of half time but the flag went up for off side.
A lively start from the visitors saw an early corner kick headed just wide and then Harry Gibbons’ hit and hope effort on 51 minutes flew high and off target. Leandro Browne raced away moments later and his pace took him clear of the trailing defenders however when the crucial moment came he missed the far post by a yard.
Good interplay nearly produced something for Belper on 60 minutes but Eric Graves couldn’t get his foot around the ball and his shot screwed off target. Danny Roberts made a great block from Wilfred Gnahore as the Nailers suffered a anxious few moments, and then Dylan Garnett’s 71st minute shot fizzed inches by the post.
A goal of sheer class arrived for the Nailers courtesy of Alex Steadman on 73 minutes after Dylan Garnett nodded the ball into space whereupon Steadman skilfully took the ball around Jack Steggles and threaded the ball just inside the far post.
Belper needed to hold their nerve and concentration for the remaining 10 minutes or so and they might have sealed it in the 87th minute when Browne interchanged with Dominic Allen, but Browne’s shot was deflected away for a corner kick.
Four minutes additional time racked up the tension and a Carlton corner kick late on was met by Kieran Walker but Danny Roberts was equal to his downwards header.
Belper Town: Roberts, Thornberry, Allen, Graves, Hunt, Guy, Birks (Atkinson 75), Goddard, Browne (Barr-Rostrom 90), Browne, O’Connell (Garnett 65), Steadman. Unused subs: Hunt, Rathbone.
Carlton Town: Steggles, McNicholas, Fletcher, Bertram, Carlisle, Walker, Mitchell, Elliott (Mutibvu 72), Hooton, Gibbons (Gnahore 63), Gordon. Unused subs: Wilson, Akaunu, Oldham.
Referee: David Hunt.