Injury-time penalty rescues draw for Belper Town

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Belper Town maintained their unbeaten run after a 96th minute penalty rescued a 1-1 draw at home to Basford United.

Micky Armstrong continued to deputise for Phil Watt in the centre of defence as the Belper defender was serving a one game suspension, and there was a new name among the substitutes with the arrival of Ryan Head from Ilkeston on loan.

The Nailers, now unbeaten in eight, nearly scored inside the first minute when Ruben Wiggins-Thomas, back in the side after an injury lay off, back heeled the ball to Jonathan Williams who brought a great save out of Saul Deeney.

Lewis Carr came closest for Basford in the opening 15 minutes with a header at the far post that Danny Haystead put out for a corner kick, and then a 10th minute free from Jonathan Williams caused confusion in the Basford 6 yard area and when the ball came out to Evan Garnett, he let the ball run away from him.

The first half was low in entertainment and quality in general, but Ruben Wiggins-Thomas showed skill on the turn in the 34th minute but put his cross behind Alex Steadman who was waiting for the opportunity.

Evan Garnett made room for a smartly struck effort on the stroke of half time and as the players trooped off at half time, supporters were left hoping for much better entertainment in the second half.

It was a poor start for the Nailers as they found themselves a goal down barely two minutes from the restart after Gideon Asiedu-Boateng rose above everyone to plant a header from a corner kick, firmly into the back of the Belper net.

A shaky Belper defence nearly conceded again two minutes later when Tyrell Shannon-Lewis drove the ball low and hard and Haystead came out brilliantly to block with his legs.

Micky Armstrong saved the Nailers again in the 51st minute when he intercepted Courey Grantham’s progress with a perfectly timed tackle.

Eric Graves hit an effort just over the bar in the 57th minute, although it was the visitors who were looking the more likely to score’

They might have done so if a Belper defender hadn’t got in the way of a pile driver from Asiedo-Boateng on 63 minutes.

There seemed to be no way through for the Nailers as they persisted with the long ball tactic that continually saw the ball being played back through midfield, however Belper’s fortunes began to change in the last 15 minutes.

The Nailers certainly gave the visitor’s more to think about and began to pressurise the Basford defenders, but even so the game seemed to be petering out as the the contest moved into added on time.

Alex Steadman forced his way into the penalty area in the 95th minute, a Basford leg was outstretched; Steadman was sent sprawling and the referee had no hesitation but to point to the spot.

Jonathan Williams gleefully blasted the ball into the top right corner and the Nailers had snatched a point against the odds.

It wasn’t over yet though as the referee found even more time on his watch and John Guy denied Basford a last gasp winner be stopping a fiercely struck shot on the line.

Match details:

Belper Town: Haystead, Dennis (Richards 79), Butcher (Head 67), Graves, Guy, Armstrong, Garnett, Wiggins-Thmas (Watkis 62), Williams, Steadman. Unused subs: Birks, Palmer J.

Basford Utd: Deeney, McNicholas, Walker, Bertram, Carr, Meikle, Dixon, Smith F, Hutchinson, Shannon-Lewis, Grantham. Unused subs: Smith C, Wood Jake, Wood Jack.

Referee: Kristian Silcock.

Att: 203.