Belper Town made a winning start to the 2019/20 season with an exciting 4-3 away victory at Market Drayton Town.
Two goals from Nathan Curtis, the second an absolute stunner, helped the Nailers come out on top of this roller coaster game in which Belper had to come from 3-2 down on a ground where they had only won once in eight previous visits.
Such was the interest in this season’s opening fixture the team coach wasn’t big enough to hold all the supporters who wanted to travel, however Belper fans were still present in considerable numbers to see their team emerge victorious.
Charlie Dawes was hauled down by Connor Hughes inside the penalty in the fifth-minute and Zeph Thomas’s confident conversion from the spot heightened fans’ expectations.
But they were pegged back on 19 minutes when Ryan McClean’s shot was too hot for Ryan Musselwhite to handle and Harvey Howell snapped up the loose ball. Musselwhite made amends moments later with an instinctive stop.
Dawes was on song and Nathan Curtis saw a header spectacularly saved before the break. Two minutes after the restart and Belper had regained the lead through Curtis’ header from a Cameron Clark cross
Howell struck a pin point shot just inside the far post to level and within three minutes the hosts had taken the lead when Charlie Knowles headed in at the far post from a free kick.
Nailers were helped back into the game when a defensive misunderstanding allowed George Milner to run through and slot past the advancing keeper before Curtis fired home the winner.
Belper: Musselwhite, Bryant, Clark (McDonnell 77), Bertram, South, Peterson, Gordon, Nelthorpe (Robson 73), Thomas Z (Milner 70), Curtis, Dawes. Subs not used: Watt, Waldron.
Referee: Tom Bowkett. Att: 154.