Belper Town’s fantastic run in the Emirates FA Cup came to an end after an unfortunate 1-0 defeat away at Evo-Stik Premier Halesowen Town FC.
The Nailers knew they were in for a tough test after reaching the second qualifying round after an impressive 2-1 victory over Hednesford Town.
The game started with an extremely fast pace, with Halesowen looking to catch the Nailers sleeping early on, however the Belper Town defence held strong and made sure that they were alert to the early Halesowen onslaught.
The only time that Danny Haystead was challenged in these opening few minutes was through a 35 yard volley by Malcolm Melvin, the dip and bend that he got on the ball made it difficult for Haystead, but he tipped it over the bar expertly to keep the game level.
Belper began to apply pressure of their own on the Halesowen defence around 15 minutes in and a superb Kyle Bryant cross was met by Alex Steadman, wjp headed over.
The closest that the Nailers came to opening the scoring was through a Jermaine Hollis header. Jonathan Williams put the cross in after a superb Jordan ball run, Hollis had to improvise with a backwards header towards goal, this attempt flashed just wide of the post.
Just before the end of the half brought the games biggest controversy, Kaiman Anderson found himself through on the Belper Town goal, with only Gerome Palmer and Danny Haystead in goal to beat.
Palmer got close to the forward to try and make life difficult for him, Anderson gave Palmer a slight push before slotting the ball into the bottom corner of the goal, but the goal was disallowed by the referee, which was quickly followed by a chorus of Halesowen boos.
As the Nailers went into the break, they could certainly feel happy with the way that they had played, however they seemed to be missing the creative spark that Ruben-Wiggins Thomas had been bringing to the side all season up front.
In the second half, both teams were finding it difficult to create clear cut chances, with both sides giving superb defensive displays that they can both be proud of, with a draw looking to be a fair result on the day for both sides.
However, it was not meant to be for the Nailers, Joe Colley put in a low cross that was aimed for the back post, Haysteads view was blocked by players in the box as he came out to collect, this lack of vision lead to the ball getting past him and finding it’s way into the back of the net directly from the cross with 10 minutes to go.
The Nailers pressed the Halesowen defence late on to try and earn themselves a replay, with the centre backs pushing forwards to try and get help to support the Belper Town attack, but the Nailers couldn’t break through the strong Halesowen defence.
Despite the result, the Nailers can hold their heads high, with them pushing a team from the tier above all the way and coming so close to earning themselves a Tuesday night replay at the Marstons Stadium.
Instead they will face League leaders Spalding United on Tuesday night in their 3rd home game of the season.