Belper manager Peter Duffield said it ‘felt like a defeat’ after the Nailers conceded a very late equaliser against Newcastle Town on Saturday in the Evo-Stik League Division One South.
“We needed the second goal,” he said, “but it never came and there was always the danger that they could get one, even though Aaron Chapman barely had a save to make all afternoon.
“I can only recall two shots on goal and the lad who scored will probably never strike a ball as cleanly again. It was a tremendous shot from outside of the penalty area.
“I was gutted when the ball went in but if you’d told me that we would get 19 points from a possible 21 a few weeks ago, I would have gladly taken it, but it was frustrating never the less.
“Newcastle packed the defence and midfield and played to their strengths and it was up to us to break them down,” he said.
“It was a scruffy performance from us and we didn’t create a great deal in front of goal, and when we did get a sight on goal, we didn’t make the most of the opportunities that came our way.”
“After thinking about it over the weekend, we have scored a lot of goals recently so we can’t complain too much and I had a gut feeling that when we hadn’t scored the second goal, they might spoil our afternoon by getting an equaliser.”
He continued: “It takes two teams to make an entertaining game and they played their part, although we should really have taken all the points on balance.”
The Nailers were without Aaron Pride who was still unfit after his bizarre injury sustained while walking his dog.
Although he has resumed light training, it may take a couple of weeks before his injured knee has recovered sufficiently for him to be in contention for the first team.
In the meantime, Greg Wright has switched to right back as cover and Andy Rushbury has enjoyed an extended run in the left back slot, and both of these players have been part of a very mean defence in recent games.
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Shaun Roulston has become a regular now after the departure of Karl Colley and is he is becoming a firm favourite with Nailers’ supporters particularly as he lives in the town and there has always been a clamour for more local players.
Belper retained their place in the play off zone despite dropping points at home, but they will need to target maximum points when they face Kidsgrove Athletic at Christchurch Meadow this coming Saturday.
The Nailers face a stiff test the following Tuesday evening when they travel to runaway league leaders Coalville Town.