Belper Town stun Buxton FC in Derbyshire Senior Cup action

Belper's George Milner
Belper's George Milner

Belper Town produced one of the shocks of the third round in a 2-0 defeat of BetVictor NPL Premier Division side Buxton FC to advance in the Derbyshire Senior Cup.

Nailers manager Grant Black made a triumphant return to a club where he made 299 appearances and he would have been proud of his players, as his team came out on top against a club from a higher level for the fourth time this season.

Silverlands has been considerably improved in recent times with a reported £1m being spent on an artificial playing surface, new floodlighting and various upgrades around the ground.

The playing surface certainly suited the Nailers who looked at home on it straight from the kick-off and dominated the first half, scoring two goals and hitting the woodwork on two other occasions.

Black gave starts to Josh Waldram, Steve Ridley, Sam Wright, George Milner and Charlie Dawes - all of whom performed well and emphasised the strength of the squad that the manager has to call on. One absentee on the night was Craig Nelthorpe who has left the club on a dual registration basis and joined Winterton Rangers.

After George Milner had troubled the Bucks’ defenders in the early moments of the game, the Nailers got off to a great start when Dawes struck a superb shot low into the far corner of the Buxton goal after just six minutes.

Milner went close on 12 minutes after Alex Peterson chested the ball down to him just inside the penalty area, but Milner’s shot flew over the cross bar.

Dawes nearly made it two with a crisply struck volley from 20 yards that went very close and on 19 minutes the Nailers deservedly extended their lead when Peterson nodded a cross into the six yard area, where skipper Danny South reacted the quickest to stab the ball in from close range.

Sam Wright’ 34th minute effort thundered against the cross bar and moments later Milner shaved the upright with another well struck shot. The Bucks were reeling at this stage and Milner went close again on 37th minutes after latching on to Peterson’s through ball but his shot took a deflection for a corner kick.

The hosts hadn’t managed to get a shot on target in the first half despite being awarded two or three free kicks in dangerous positions, however, as the half drew to its close the Bucks started to recover their composure and have more possession.

This continued after the break and Belper found themselves having to defend more, however, despite the greater sense of urgency shown by the home team, the Nailers were untroubled for most of the time.

On 63 minutes Dawes made a great opening for Milner but he put his shot over the target, however, the Nailers had to concentrate more on protecting their two goal lead and consequently weren’t able to get up field as much as they had in the first 45 minutes.

In the 75th-minute Milner produced excellent skills to get the ball over to Nathan Curtis, however, his shot went well wide.

As Buxton tried to make inroads in the latter stages, Ryan Musselwhite pulled of a great save to prevent the hosts from halving the arrears, and with the referee deciding not to add any additional time, the final whistle came as a pleasant surprise to Belper supporters who cheered their team off the field after a very satisfying performance and result.

Buxton: Shenton, Roscoe, Brown, De Girolamo, Corbett, Kilner, Navarro (Handley 65), Chalmers (Campbell 57), Hopkins (Wilson 45), Jennings, Dwyer. Unused subs: Bevan, Samba.

Belper Town: Musselwhite, Waldram, Clark, Ridley, South, Watt, Curtis, Wright, Peterson, Milner, Dawes. Unused sub: Gordon, Bryant.

Referee: J O’Connor.

Att: 106.