The Nailers forced a comeback over opponents Coalville Town in the FA Cup First Qualifying Round on Saturday to earn a replay.
A flat first half saw the Nailers trail by three goals at half time, before a lively second half display led to three goals scored to draw the game 3-3 at the Marston’s Stadium.
Matt Varley earned his first start at centre half, and Aaron Pride, Scot Low, Billy Bennett, Regan Edridge and Evan Garnett all joined the former to start for the Nailers.
The first goal of the game came for the Ravens after a corner from the right was whipped in with pace by Daniel Edwards. The ball then came off the foot of the defender and fell nicely into the path of Liam Kay who struck the ball home with pace.
Then, two goals in two minutes on the stroke of half-time for Coalville left Belper with a mountain to climb.
The first came on the 44th minute when a goalkick on the ‘keeper’s left hand side spurred the players to drift over to one side, leaving Alex Dean all on his own on the right-hand touchline. Sean Bowles then fired the long ball down to Dean on the right, who took a neat touch and began to make Belper panic. A neat one-two with Lee Miveld then saw Dean through down the right, who found a good low cross across the face of the goal, where Stuart McNaught got in front of the defender to stab the ball home.
One minute later, a misjudged bounce of the ball led to Jake Woolley finding a way through on the left to stretch Belper once again. Woolley then twisted to cut back onto his right foot, and played the ball across for Alex Dean, who sidefooted the ball into the top corner.
The Nailers required a reaction in the second half, and how they got one with a new burst of energy. The first goal for the home side came on the 53rd minute through the number nine Kieran Wells. A corner from the left by Ian Ross was swung into the danger area where the goalkeeper came to collect. However, Sean Bowles then dropped the ball in his stride and Kieran Wells latched onto the chance to hook the ball over the ‘keeper and find a way through to goal despite the defender’s best efforts to keep it out.
Then, a second goal came for Belper just one minute later as the momentum starting to flow their way. Garnett found a way in on the right and held the ball up well to make space for himself. Garnett played the ball into the box where Mark Ward flicked the ball back and a tame shot fell for the unmarked Regan Edridge who slid in to slot the ball home.
The comeback was complete after 65 minutes for Belper, with the goal of the day by Mark Ward setting the standard for the Nailers.
The ball was cleared out to the left hand side where Billy Bennett took a great first touch to bring the ball down. Then, Bennett curled in a sweet cross where the ball fell perfectly for Ward, who in turn manoeuvred his body well to smash home the half-volley in tremendous style.
Further efforts came for Garnett and Wells as the home side looked to progress to the next round, however the score remained at 3-3.