Caretaker manager Wayne Garnett’s final game in charge of Belper Town was tarnished by a poor start that led to a 3-0 defeat on Saturday.
In a frantic first 22 minutes, Belper conceded three goals and received a red card against a Stamford side, who had started the day just below them in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, South Division table.
But although the game brought to an end the Nailers’ winning run, club officials were keen to thank Garnett for the way he has rejuvenated the squad during his spell in charge and set a strong platform for new boss Aaron Webster.
In front of a crowd of 308, Liam Adams was Stamford’s hero with a hat-trick, prodding the opener into an empty net after Belper goalkeeper Danny Roberts had mishandled a free-kick into the box.
Things got worse a minute later when referee Andrew Dallison sent off Kieran Harrison for a foul in the box and Adams converted the resultant spot-kick. And the striker’s treble was completed by a second penalty, awarded for a late challenge by Will Dennis.
To the credit of Garnett’s well-organised side, for the rest of the game, they stayed in a solid shape, worked hard and softened the threat of Stamford, who were flattered by the final scoreline. But with only ten men, their attacking potency of recent performances was lost.
BELPER LINE-UP -- Roberts/ Thornberry, Goddard, Allen (Baldwin 82), Guy, Harrison, Browne, Dennis, Steadman, O’Connell (Barr-Rostron 20), Garnett.