Danylyk: The league is now our priority

Belper Town joint managers Paul Donnelly and Anthony Danylyk
Belper Town joint managers Paul Donnelly and Anthony Danylyk

Belper Town joint-boss Ant Danylyk says his side can now fully concentrate on league matters following their FA Trophy exit last weekend.

A good run of four games unbeaten - three of them wins - was halted by fellow Evo-Stik Division One South side Alvechurch on Saturday as they ran out 2-1 winners.

New signing Ben Hutchinson.

New signing Ben Hutchinson.

And with the Nailers having also exited the FA Cup early in proceedings, Danylyk is keen to see the club’s league form continue in earnest, a trip to Market Drayton Town next on the agenda this weekend.

He said: “It’s disappointing to have been knocked out of both FA competitions so early because they’re the biggest ones you can play in as a non-league side and we’d liked to have gone further.

“But if we’re to take any positives from it, we can at least now concentrate on building on our good form from before the Alvechurch game and we’ll go to Market Drayton determined to do that.”

Danylyk was unable to attend Saturday’s defeat to Alvechurch due to being best man at a friend’s wedding, but was able to get feedback from fellow joint-manager Paul Donnelly.

He said: “I spoke to Paul about the game and it seems we were a bit unlucky to lose out.

“Alvechurch began well with the wind at their backs and got themselves two ahead, the second goal being a great strike.

“We got back in it before half-time and had a goal disallowed in the second-half, and all in all should probably have taken something from the game, despite having John Guy sent off which was a blow as we now lose him for three games.”

The Alvechurch game came just three days after a ding-dong fixture at current league leaders Cleethorpes Town.

The game ended 4-4, but Belper led 3-0 at half-time and 4-2 with eight minutes to go before two late strikes hauled the hosts level.

Danylyk said: “It was one of those fixtures where had we been offered a point beforehand we’d probably have taken it.

“However, to have been three up at the break and probably deserving of more goals given some of the chances we missed, and then 4-2 up so late in the game, it’s then frustrating to only get a draw.

“We used a strong wind to our benefit in the first-half and played some really good stuff. What was disappointing was that Cleethorpes didn’t really have to open us up for their goals, they played quite direct football, and we couldn’t deal with it.

“On the plus side, we scored four goals away at a team who had only conceded six in the league all season beforehand, and the game reinforced our belief that the team is really beginning to gel together well now.”

Danylyk added that the Nailers have this week added striker Ben Hutchinson to their squad.

Hutchinson has most recently been at Basford and has great experience both in non-league football and above, having played for Middlesbrough in the Premier League, scoring at Manchester City on his debut, and then signing for Celtic.

Having featured in the SPL for Celtic, Dundee and Kilmarnock, regular games for the likes of Lincoln City and Mansfield Town followed before dropping down the leagues with Nuneaton and then Basford, for whom he scored a hat-trick when Belper were thumped 7-1 towards the end of last season.