It has been a memorable week for Belper Town, who gained maximum points from their two games, and with entirely different performances.
Everything went Belper’s way in the record-breaking victory over Romulus in midweek as the Nailers hit nine goals without reply, their best winning margin in nearly 15 years’ membership of the Northern Premier League.
“We were excellent in the Romulus game,” said manager Peter Duffield.
“Even though they finished the game with nine men, I thought we were ruthless in front of goal and we did everything and more that is expected when you play a team with less than 11 on the pitch.”
“We were already out of sight when they lost their second player in the second half and we didn’t slack off thinking we had done enough and went on to get nine goals, which has improved our goal difference considerably.”
As for Saturday’s 2-1 victory at Kings Lynn, The Walks Stadium is a ground in the traditional style with a huge stand along one side housing all the requisite facilities, including changing room, bars, refreshments areas and sponsors lounges.
Along the other side is a full length covered standing area, and with 600-odd partisan spectators used to see the Linnets win, so it was even more of an achievement for the Nailers to return from Norfolk with all three points.
Peter Duffield described his team’s first half performance as the best he’s seen this season, and was full of praise for his players.
“It was all down to the players,” he said, “ I was so proud of the way they approached such a difficult task, yet we could have put the game out of sight by half-time because we stretched them many times especially the 15 or 20 minutes before half time.”
“They were looking for the half-time whistle and we wanted the game to carry on. We scored two superb goals with Shaun Tuton’s instinctive volley absolutely brilliant, and Mark Ward used all his experience and cultured skill to chip the second over the ‘keeper.”
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“We knew they would be better in the second half and we had to work much harder to keep them out, and when they pulled one back with 10 minutes or so I began to think the worst. But we just dug in even more and bearing in mind we were without two first choice defenders Richard Adams and Greg Wright, it shows how well they all played.”
The Nailers face a welcome rest this week with no midweek fixture and Duffield says his players are looking forward to the break.
“We’ve played virtually every midweek since the season started and it’s hard going for the players who have to travel, play twice a week and hold down a job at the same time,” he said.
“I know the League want to get as many games in before the bad weather but it’s tough on non league players, and even worse if you get a cup run as it can penalise you.”
The Nailers face another difficult challenge on Saturday when they travel to play second placed Stamford and then next Tuesday evening they go to Ossett Town in the League Cup 1st Round.
Belper Town’s reserve side had a comfortable win in the Derbyshire Divisional Cup beating Chellaston 4-2, and on Saturday return to League action with a trip to Dronfield Town Reserves.