A penalty save by new signing Leigh Overton was the turning point as battling Belper Town won a feisty encounter at Stocksbridge Park Steels.
The recalled Rikki Paylor, with a superbly-taken goal, and Nathan Curtis were on target as the Nailers claimed a 2-0 Evo-Stik League Division One East victory.
Belper made a lively start but were soon under pressure from Steels, who used the long ball to good effect and, when given the opportunity, moved the ball quickly on the ground.
Craig Nelthorpe had Belper’s first direct shot on target in the 12th minute, winning a corner, and a spell of pressure three minutes later saw attempts on goal blocked.
Stocksbridge were given an opportunity to take the lead on 22 minutes when Danny South was judged to have handled, although the decision appeared harsh.
However, new keeper Overton, signed from Ossett United earlier in the week, dived to his right to save Rory Coleman’s well-struck spot-kick.
The Nailers began to work their way back into the game and Craig Nelthorpe’s shot straight at Jordan Amissah heralded an attacking spell that culminated in a goal on 35 minutes.
A cross into the box was punched clear to Nelthorpe, who headed the ball back into the area for Paylor to turn and volley in.
Danny Frost might have made it 2-0 after brilliant set-up play from Nathan Curtis, but he blasted over from 15 yards.
Belper’s second-half display was mainly about stopping Stocksbridge settling on the ball — and they were successful
Curtis went on a solo run in the 50th minute but couldn’t get any power in his shot.
However, he sealed victory later in the half, glancing in Nelthorpe’s inswinging free kick.
Jake Sturgess had to kick the ball off the line, and Overton made two crucial saves, in the closing stages to keep the Nailers’ clean sheet intact.