Fifth successive defeat as season fades in poor finish

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Belper Town’s poor finish to the Evostik South season continued with a 3-1 home defeat to Kidsgrove Athletic — their fifth successive loss.

The injury-hit side’s misery was compounded as former Nailer Eric Graves tapped in the third.

The only positive for Belper was a goal just before the hour-mark when Will Dennis showed determination to win the ball first and head home a consolation.

But by then it was too little too late and Kidsgrove, who had previously won just twice in 16 matches, might have added further goals.

The visitors took the lead when Daniel Skelton got the definitive touch to finally capitalise on a sequence of set- pieces.

Belper looked starved of confidence and fell further behind to a fine goal as Kyle Diskin bent his free kick accurately into the corner of Joe Searson-Smithard’s net after just 17 minutes.

Joe Hunt fashioned one of few glimpses of the Kidsgrove goal for the home side, lining up a shot from range that was deflected wide.

After Graves made it 3-0 and Dennis replied, Diskin and Tim Sanders both rushed through on goal from the right-hand side but dragged their shots wide of the far post.

Graves was denied a second as Callum Lloyd blocked on the goalline — one Belper captain foiling an ex-skipper.

Belper’s season finishes with an away trip to Newcastle Town on Saturday.

The defeat to Kidsgrove left the Nailers 15th in the table with 45 points from 41 matches.

Belper Town: Searson-Smithard, Hunt, Cole, Williamson, Dennis, Harrison, Steele (Daniels 86), Lloyd, Birks, Garnett, Jebbison.

Unused substitutes: McIntosh, Knowles, Taylor, Brumby.

Kidsgrove Athletic: Parton, Thompson, Lingard, Jepson, Ashman, Graves, Diskin, Skelton (Davidson 60), Sanders, Cropper (Malbon 82), Valido-Barai (Duke 70).

Referee: Jack Hall.