Belper Town manager Grant Black was a happy man following Saturday’s win over Ossett United, because not only did his team win their third game on the trot but he also came out on top against his former employer from last season.
Belper fought back from 2-0 down in the second period to win 3-2 against the play-off chasers.
“It was a tough test for us, especially as we are down to the bare bones in terms of squad numbers,” he said. “When they scored their second at the start of the second half, clearly what we had been doing wasn’t working.
“I was proud of the way the lads came back at them. We started to turn their full-backs and things started to happen for us.
“We turned the game on its head and and when Danny South headed the third goal Ossett looked dejected and out of ideas.”
Black said it was crucial for the Nailers to keep Ossett striker Tom Greaves quiet and they did a great job.
Cameron Clark was substituted after only 10 minutes, despite not having sustained an injury, and Black explained why.
“We felt that we needed to change things because Cameron was finding it difficult to contain their winger, and he had already received a yellow card, so we thought it was best to take him off rather than risk going down to 10 men,” said the manager.
“Cameron understood the situation and his reaction was very professional.”
The club has secured the services of George Milner, and more recently Danny South, on contracts. Milner will stay with the Nailers until the end of the 2019/20 season and South until 2021.
Black and his assistant, Micky Norbury, have committed themselves for at least two more seasons.
“We are obviously very pleased that the club have been able to offer George and Danny deals to keep them at Belper,” said Black. “We have spoken to all of the players who have indicated a willingness to stay with us for next season, and we have also targeted potential additions with the aim of strengthening the squad.”
The Nailers will have a say in the race for the play-offs and the relegation battles as they face Sheffield FC on Easter Monday, and Spalding United on the last Saturday of the season. However, Spalding may benefit from AFC Mansfield’s resignation from the league due to ground grading issues.
There seems likely to be a different league format for next season which could see the Nailers returning to clubs such as Newcastle, Market Drayton and Kidsgrove, however details have yet to be confirmed.