‘It’s fantastic for the club and the town’ - Grant Black reflects on Belper Town’s FA Cup heroics and fourth qualifying round draw against Notts County

Belper's players applaud the crowd on Saturday. Pic by Tim Harrison.
Belper's players applaud the crowd on Saturday. Pic by Tim Harrison.

Giant-killing Belper Town have been drawn against National League side Notts County at Meadow Lane in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup.

The Nailers have been rewarded for their 2-1 victory over Rushall Olympic on Saturday, which sparked joyous scenes at the Raygar Stadium.

Belper boss Grant Black

Belper boss Grant Black

It earned the club £11,250 in competition prize money on top of their previous round successes over Sporting Khalsa, Alvechurch and Witton Albion.

The chance to go up against the Magpies on Saturday 19th October was warmly welcomed by Belper boss Grant Black, who praised his players.

“It’s fantastic for the club and for the town,” he said.

“It’s no more than the players deserve since they came back for pre-season at the end of May and towards the beginning of June.

“They’ve worked tirelessly and got their just rewards against a massive club, with loads of history and a manager who has played at the highest level.

“What more can you ask for? It was probably the best draw we could have got. We’re buzzing as a group and it’s a fantastic achievement for the club.”

The tie against Magpies, FA Cup winners in 1894, has been scheduled to take place on Saturday 19th October.

Black said: “We will watch Notts County and prepare for them the same way we have for every team we’ve played so far.

“We’ll try and set up a gameplan that will help us get a positive result, whether that’s a win or a draw.

“We know it will be an incredibly tough thing to do but we’ve got to go with the belief that we can do that and we will.

“If we perform well on the day then we’ll make it difficult for them and hopefully keep the run going.”

Nailers sealed their place in the fourth qualifying round thanks to goals from Alex Peterson and a late match-winner from Charlie Dawes.

“The group we’ve got never know when they’re beaten,” said Black.”There are going to be games when they do get beaten but it won’t be for the reason of ‘what could have been’.

“We got off to a great start, which is what we planned to do and have done recently, and Saturday was no different.”

“We didn’t dominate possession. We had a plan to let them have it and be tough to break down.

“We had a fair few chances to go in front in the first half and should have had a penalty - it was a stonewall penalty but we didn’t get it.

“We didn’t let that decision bother us.

“They really upped their game all over the pitch in the second half for the first 20 minutes or so and made it very difficult for us.

“They got the goal and then had another 10-minute spell when I thought it was going to be a matter of time before they did get one.

“But we used our subs wisely and had fresh legs to come on with around 10 minutes to go and within a minute of coming on Charlie Dawes got a great goal.

“We then hung on for six minutes of injury time but to get that win was unbelievable.”

Black added: “The fans were incredible - they stayed to clap everyone off - and then there must have been all 500+ in the bar afterwards singing and cheering.

“People were taking pictures and videos that night of people out and about around the town still singing Belper songs. It was a great day and well-deserved for everyone connected to the club.”

Belper are in FA Trophy action on Saturday (12th October) when they host Stamford in a preliminary round tie.