Belper cruised past Dronfield Town in the Derbyshire Senior Cup, smacking in six including a Kai Hancock hat-trick.
A handful of changes met the Belper line up following the disappointing defeat to Brighouse Town, to maintain an air of freshness in a busy schedule. Kai Hancock was given his second start of the season, whilst regulars Jake Sturgess, Danny South and Derry Robson all began from the bench.
After an impressive stretch in the league going undefeated, Belper were looking for a bang the day after Bonfire night against a lower league opposition in Dronfield Town.
It started with a slight fizzle, as Grant Black’s side began to gage their unknown opponents. Danny Gordon gave Dronfield a scare as he let fly with a crack, the shot always rising into the night sky.
Following the sticky start, Darol Lucas light up the Silver X Stadium with the opening strike. Piteu Crouz cruised into space and unleashed the marauding right back who was far from his regular station; the finish was of a seasoned striker and his first of the campaign.
The goal started a sparkle from The Nailers, as they doused the visitors with wave upon wave of pressure as the North Counties Division One outfit rarely left their final third.
Alex Peterson must’ve thought he’d struck the right match, as he turned to shoot inside the six yard box only for the most fortunate of flicks to take it onto the crossbar.
Belper completely bossed the occasion, continuing to come aggravatingly close to finding the net without reward. Therefore, the second right before the half was more than warmed to.
A routine route one freekick over the Dronfield backline picked out Kai Hancock, who flashed a marvellous first time effort straight into the bottom corner.
Much like a Catherine Wheel, the game continued to turn in Belper’s absolute favour. Not often will the home side have had such freedom of possession and aimed to add to their comfortable advantage.
Curtis found himself on the end of slick, training ground move after Hancock laid his header on a plate for a striker. His left footed volley was superbly tipped over by Naylor against The Nailers.
Ash Ryecroft could credit himself with Dronsfield’s singular shot on target, an overly speculative effort that was warm up practice for Leigh Overton.
With 20 minutes remaining, the firework display was over in terms of a contest. Curtis and Hancock had a hand in the goal with fine approach work into the area. The goal itself had an air of fortune, a chopped clearance fell into the path of substitute Derry Robson, rolling the ball for number three.
All smiles as Belper bagged a fourth five minutes from the end. Unorthodox target man Danny South fell to the turf following a bundle in the box, Craig Nelthorpe neatly converting the resulting spot kick.
Goals continued to flood in before the final whistle, as Hancock sealed his fantastic individual hat-trick to pile on Dronfield misery and Belper’s delight. Steeling in round the back, he reacted like a predator in the penalty box for the fifth before showing off a luxurious lob over Naylor to seal an evening of entertainment.
Routine victory it may have been, yet Black will have welcomed the confidence booster entering a tough set of league fixtures. A cup run will be just what the Belper faithful ordered.
Belper Town: Overton, Lucas, Clark (Esmailey 45), Paylor (Robson 45), Peterson, Assenso, Nelthorpe, Gordon, Hancock, Curtis (South 73), Crouz. Unused subs: Sturgess, Colbear.
Dronfield Town: Naylor, Cheetham (Siddens 71), Bebbington, Stewart, Gladwin, Bovill, Flower, Ryecroft, Mawbey, Savage, Afondzok (Ord 55). Unused subs: Butler, Fereday.