Happy days for Nailers skipper who sets sights on FA Cup run

NBEN Belper V Market Drayton. PRESENTATION Alan Benfield Chairman, Eric Graves Captain
NBEN Belper V Market Drayton. PRESENTATION Alan Benfield Chairman, Eric Graves Captain

After Belper Town managed to cause one of the biggest upsets of the second qualifying round with their 2-1 victory over higher-league opposition Hednesford Town, Nailers manager Charlie Palmer praised every one of his players for their fantastic efforts.

This was echoed by skipper Eric Graves who believes the players gave everything that they could to ensure they would reach the next round.

Graves said: “Obviously a very backs to the wall performance for a large part of it, but every single one of the players put in hard work from the forwards all the way through to Danny, we managed to take our chances and we limited them to not very many I think we deserved it with our work rate.

“It’s always difficult coming to a team from the league above us away from home, a lovely pitch and a decent team, we knew it was going to be hard work we rode our luck at times but we got the win, happy days.”

Related content: Belper upset the odds to advance in FA Cup with win over Hednesford

In the next round of the Emirates FA Cup the Nailers will face, Halesowen Town, who are also of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division, the same step as Hednesford, and Graves is hoping that his side can advance again.

“There’s obviously quite a few old lads like me in the changing room and a couple of us have had runs in the past up to the first round, so we know how good it can be,” he said.

“Part of that is the luck of the draw and the other part of it is making sure that we turn up and do what we did against Hednesford no matter who we play, so fingers crossed that we get through another couple of rounds and get someone big and exciting.”

But before all that, the Nailers attention will be turned back to league action, starting with an away trip to Carlton Town in which Graves is hoping that his side can replicate the same sort of performance that they did against Hednesford.

“We definitely need to take that into the league, we’ve been very up and down in the league so far but in the two FA Cup performances we’ve been brilliant and we definitely need to take that into the league starting next Saturday,” he added.

The Nailers will continue their Emirates FA Cup campaign on September 17 when they travel to face Evo-Stik Northern Premier opposition in Halesowen Town.