Evo-Stik NPL Division One South
Belper Town 3
Newcastle Town 1
BELPER Town secured a very welcome home win with a much-improved performance against Newcastle Town at Christchurch Meadow.
The Nailers introduced two more players; both with previous history at Christchurch Meadow with Steve Warne having been secured on a permanent basis from Matlock Town following a successful loan spell earlier in the season, and striker Mark Ward who has joined the Nailers from Stocksbridge Park Steels.
Ward was named as a substitute while Warne went straight into the side at the expense of Deon Meikle who had to be satisfied with a place on the bench.
Greg Wright came in as cover at right back as Aaron Pride was starting a three game suspension
Leon Ashman nearly caused an early shock when he nearly got to the ball ahead of Gavin
Saxby but the Belper ‘keeper managed to grab the ball first.
Jack Harrison wasted a good chance in the third minute after the Nailers were caught cold at the back but after turning to make space, he screwed his shot well wide.
Jon Froggatt sent Alton Rennalls away in the eighth minute but the outcome was disappointing as the former Shepshed man shot straight at Ben Chapman.
Ashley Longstaff had the crowd on their feet in the 15th minute when he collected the ball from Jon Froggatt and sent an angled drive just past the far post, and moments later he sent a looping header that needed a Newcastle defender to head away as it looked destined to drop just inside the post,
Longstaff was on the end of a good move in the 21st minute but couldn’t keep his shot down, however Belper’s dominance paid off in the 21st minute when Chris Adam moved in on an Alton Rennalls’ cross to side foot the ball in from just inside the area,
It could have been two 90 seconds later when Rennalls supplied an accurate cross into the penalty area where Jon Froggatt met it first time, but somehow Ben Chapman got a leg to his shot.
Chris Adam struck a tremendous effort on the half-hour mark and from the rebound Jon Froggatt’s fiercely struck effort hit a defender’s head, and then Charlie Weir fired over from 20 yards out.
Leon Ashman turned and struck a great effort just over the bar as Newcastle reminded the Nailers that they need to be wary of the visitors on the break, but when the equaliser came in the 38th minute it was a from a dead ball situation as Ryan Connor forced Will Ryder’s free kick over the line.
Ben Chapman reached Alton Rennalls’ delicate lob in the 43rd minute and pushed the ball over the cross bar as the Nailers tried to respond, and Glyn Cotton blasted a free kick well over the bar moments later.
The Nailers needed to make a positive start to the second half and try to get back the advantage that their first half performance deserved
Charlie Weir caused an anxious moment for Ben Chapman in the 50th minute with a deep cross that just cleared the far post with Ashley Longstaff running in.
An astute through pass from Greg Wright put Glyn Cotton in with an opportunity in the 62nd minute, but Ben Chapman came out bravely to claim the ball and in doing so sustained a head injury, and the game was halted for about five minutes.
The Nailers were back in front just seconds after the game restarted when the bandaged Chapman went for a high ball and couldn’t claim it, and Glyn Cotton pounced to fire the loose ball into the corner of the net.
The Nailers made a double substitution with Mark Ward and Deon Meikle coming into the fray on 76 minutes and in the 81st minute the Nailers had an opportunity to seal the win from the penalty spot.
Jon Froggatt was clearly pulled back by Andy Bratt after he had turned him and left him for dead but the Newcastle substitute blatantly pulled him back, and Froggatt coolly slotted in the spot kick.
Newcastle’s afternoon worsened in the 85th minute when Will Ryder received a second yellow card for a cynical professional foul on Chris Adam and the visitors were down to ten men.
Dan White was on hand to clear the ball off the line in the 96th minute after Ryan Connor’s cross was lost by the Belper defence, but the Nailers finished the game strongly and the result was never really in doubt.
Belper Town: Saxby, Wright, Weir, Warne, Adams, White, Rennalls, Cotton (Meikle 76), Froggatt (Turner 88), Longstaff (Ward 76), Adam. Unused subs: Simpkins, Richmond.
Newcastle Town; Chapman, Askey, Connor, Hutchinson, Bayley (Bratt 54), Nicholls, Diskin, Ryder, Sutton, Ashman, Harrison (Price 69). Unused subs: Chadwick, Haynes.
Referee: Mark Howes of Solihull
Match sponsors: Rodgers Leask
Man of the match: Dan White