Management team quit on a high with crucial victory

Paul Donnelly and Ant Danylyk.
Paul Donnelly and Ant Danylyk.

Belper Town ground out a much-needed 1-0 EvoStik South League home victory over Peterborough Sports in what proved to be manager Ant Danylyk and assistant manager Paul Donnelly’s final game in charge of the Nailers.

After the final whistle the pair, who took charge last season, announced they were stepping down from their managerial positions due to personal circumstances.

Their reign ended on a high with the ‘six-pointer’ cliché surrounding the game as 18th met 19th. The three points took the Nailers up to 15th.

On Sunday the club confirmed it was “seeking a suitably qualified and experienced manager for the first team”.

A statement said: “Belper Town FC would like to invite applications for the vacant first team manager role.

“The successful applicant will take full responsibility for all on-field football activities for the club’s first team.

“It is vital that applicants are suitably qualified and have experience within semi-professional football.

“All applications and queries should be made via the football secretary Ian Wright either by email wright.ian24@gmail.com or via phone 07768948506.”

After a cagey start, referee Jamie O’Connor pointed to the spot, after Sam Birks’ goalbound header struck the outstretched arm of Liam Marshall.

Ben Hutchinson dispatched the penalty confidently on 22 minutes to open his Belper account.

Goals usually lift a team, however, after a stretch without a win, it appeared difficult for the Nailers to pickup that winning momentum and the visitors continued the stronger.

Mark Jones wasted the first of a bagful of good chances for Peterborough, scuffing a clear strike at goal wide. Avelino Vieira blazed wide and JoshMoreman’s cross-cum-shot missed the far post by a whisker.

In the second-half, two dangerous crosses flashed across Danny Roberts’ six-yard box without a vital touch from an opposition striker as the visitors threatened an equaliser.

James Hillard took his turn in testing Roberts twice in quick succession — his first effort, a soft header, was easily held before his left-foot drive lacked power.

The second period was limited to few half-chances as neither side had the killer instinct of a top-of-the-table outfit.

In the dying seconds, all the Nailers’ hard work was almost undone as Avelino Viera powered a header towards goal, only for man-of-the-match Roberts to tip the ball over his bar to clinch all three precious points.