Nailers return to form with revenge for heavy defeats
Belper Town returned to winning ways with a comfortable 2-0 victory at Frickley Athletic, gaining revenge for two heavy defeats inflicted by the Blues last season.
It left the Nailers well placed for a play-off place in Division One East of the Evo-Stik League.
The Nailers arrived at South Elmsall on the back of two consecutive defeats.
They started well and could have scored inside two minutes following a crude foul on Piteu Crouz just outside the area, but Danny South’s shot was deflected wide.
George Milner had the ball in the net for the visitors on 10 minutes and the referee immediately signalled a goal, but after Frickley protests it was ruled offside.
Frickley also had an effort disallowed when Sam Cable prodded the ball in after a free kick rebounded to him, but the referee had already spotted his assistant’s flag and disallowed the goal.
Last season’s top scorer for the Blues Jacob Hazel, looked set to give his team the lead on 26 minutes after breaking clear, only for Nailers’ keeper Leigh Overton to again make a good stop.
After having to defend for a period, a chance for Derry Robson seemed to change Belper’s fortunes.
Although he could not convert the opportunity, Robson was presented with a better one three minutes later from a misguided back pass and he slotted home from an acute angle.
The Nailers survived an anxious moment within a minute of the restart when Jacob Hazel got the wrong side of Cameron Clark, but the Blues’ marksman fired into the chest of Overton.
Once Belper scored their second on 58 minutes their two-goal lead never looked in danger.
A piece of classic counter-attack play cut the hosts open. Craig Nelthorpe sent George Milner away, and Milner’s unselfish pass to the unmarked Kai Hancock allowed him to fire home just inside the near post.
Frickley’s one chance of reducing the arrears was completely wasted by Sam Cable in the 64th minute when all he needed to do was to lob the advancing Overton, but his attempt went well wide of its intended target.
Substitute Nathan Curtis was close to extending the Nailers’ lead on 83 minutes after a going on a great run before forcing Hugo Warhurst into a save at the foot of the near post, and when the ball came out to Craig Nelthorpe, who had time to place his shot, he lobbed the ball high over the bar.
The three points left Belper on 23 points, just three points off thirs-placed Tadcaster Albion.
The Nailers are next in league action on Saturday when they host Loughborough Dynamo, two places and four points behind Belper.
Frickley Athletic: Warhurst, Mears (Szanto 63), Algar, Watt, Liversidge, Rowe, Cable, Wilkinson, Walton, Burton, Hazel. Unused subs: Race, Carrick, Spink, Bowring.
Belper Town. Leverton, Assenso, Clark, Robson, South, Peterson, Nelthorpe (Paylor 90), Gordon , Milner (Curtis 77), Hancock (Hough 84), Crouz. Unused subs: Esmaeily, Thompson.
Referee: Lewis Dawson