Evo-Stik League NPL Division One South
Hucknall Town 0, Belper Town 3
BELPER Town reaffirmed their status as a team to be reckoned with following this impressive away success at Hucknall Town.
The Nailers struck three good goals without reply and avenged their earlier home defeat inflicted by the Yellows at the end of October last year.
The victory made it eight games unbeaten for Peter Duffield’s side.
It was the same team that finished the game against Stamford with the exception of Ben Leonard whose place on the bench was taken by Deon Meikle, who made a surprise return after being out of the picture for the last few weeks.
Jordan Turner was also involved for the first time since he scored against Ilkeston Town on New Year’s Day, but once again, in an excellent team performance, Jon Froggatt was the player who laid the foundations for victory.
The game was only two minutes old when he nodded the ball in at the near post following an Andy Rushbury free kick that was headed on, and then he promptly missed a great chance a few minutes later when he shot wide with only the ‘keeper to beat.
Hucknall recovered from the early set back and began to string passes together but their end product was minimal, and in the 19th minute Jon Froggatt extended Belper’s lead with a superb individual goal.
After demonstrating excellent ball control on the edge of the penalty area he turned and fired a deadly accurate shot just inside the far post to deflate the home side’s enthusiasm even more.
The Nailers finished the half in the ascendancy although Hucknall did find the opportunity to test Aaron Chapman on 37th minutes when Aidan Bailey fizzed a shot through a crowd of players.
However Belper could have gone into the break 3-0 to the good when Andy Rushbury had a clear header from 15 yards but the ball bounced off the cross bar and the Yellows were very relieved to clear the danger.
There was more output from Hucknall in the second half and Belper were tested frequently in defence.
Aidan Brady and Lavell White provided much of the ammunition, as the Yellows looked far more potent going forward.
White drew a great save from Aaron Chapman in the 49th minute and the Nailers’ keeper had plenty of opportunity through the rest of the half to demonstrate his potential.
Mark Ward should have silenced Hucknall’s revival moments later when he found himself goal side with James Lindley rushing well out of his goal, but Ward lifted his shot over the cross bar.
Karl Colley forced an acrobatic save from Lindley with a powerful header from a 57th minute corner kick, and as the game ebbed and flowed, Chapman blocked an angled drive from Lavell White in the 71st minute.
Mark Ward was close to scoring minutes later when he headed over the ‘keeper but without sufficient power to take the ball over the line, then Yellows’ skipper Callum Lloyd thought he’d given his side a lifeline with a well struck low drive towards the far corner, but somehow Aaron Chapman managed to deflect the ball away.
Belper finished off an impressive evening with a well worked goal in the 90th minute when Andy Rushbury overlapped down the left and struck a great cross into the path of Ashley Longstaff, and his subtle deflection was enough to send the ball past the keeper and secure three points for the Nailers.
Hucknall Town: Lindley, Walker, Price (Simms 87), Armstrong, Timons, Lloyd, Brady, McAnulty, Edwards, Smith, White. Unused subs: Wallace, Arnold, Graham, Dunn.
Belper Town: Chapman, Pride, Weir (White 38), Cotton, Colley, Simpkins, Rushbury, Warne, Froggatt (Turner 85), Ward (Longstaff 80), Rennalls. Unused subs: Meikle, Saxby.
Referee: Andrew Barney (Coalville)
This Saturday the Nailers are home to lincoln United. Kick-off is 3pm.