Steadman returns to earn point for the Nailers

Belper Town manager Aaron Webster
Belper Town manager Aaron Webster

Mid-table Belper Town gained a valuable home point against promotion-chasing Bedworth United after a much improved display.

Manager Aaron Webster restored Alex Steadman to the starting line-up and he marked his return with a goal.

Belper Town v Bedworth (green),

Belper Town v Bedworth (green),

The draw meant Belper remained in 11th place in the Evo-Stik Division One South.

Bedworth had suddenly been elevated to their lofty position thanks to a spate of points deductions, administered for various misdemeanors against Frickley Athletic and Cleethorpes Town.

They arrived at the Marston’s Stadium fully expecting to build on their good fortune.

But the fact that they weren’t able to do so was in part due to a plucky display from Webster’s men, who with better luck in front of goal might have sneaked all three points.

Recent signing striker Anton Daniels began his Belper career on the bench and wasn’t called upon to make his first appearance, while Lee Williamson was still serving a suspension.

In an uneventful opening to the game neither side caused the other too many problems.

Belper had the first real effort on goal after nine minutes when Dylan Garnett hit a first-time volley just wide of the target.

Four minutes later the home side failed to clear the ball properly and presented Bedworth with an opportunity to open the scoring.

Belper Town v Bedworth (green), Cameron Steele

Belper Town v Bedworth (green), Cameron Steele

Luke Keen had time to turn and hit a low shot beyond Jack Livesey.

The Nailers fought back well and started to play good football on a heavy surface.

In the 29th minute, Steadman ran on to a long clearance and sent a shot flashing past the far post.

A Jack Hallahan free kick three minutes later was well saved by Daniel Crane, but the Nailers capped a good spell on 34 minutes when Cameron Steele’s cross from the right took a slight deflection to find the unmarked Steadman.

Steadman made no mistake with a well placed header to give the Nailers a deserved equaliser.

Alex Troke almost restored the visitors’ lead shortly before half-time, but put his shot narrowly wide.

Livesey did well to keep out Luke Keen’s close range header as the Greenbacks came out strongly after the break, but despite the visitors having plenty of possession, it was Belper who made the best opportunities.

Garnett, complete with step overs, forced the keeper into a diving save on 53 minutes, then soon afterwards placed a shot wide of the target.

Steadman found himself unmarked in the penalty area but needed too long to get his shot away and substitute Leandro Browne was unfortunate to see his shot zip beyond the far post after a weaving run into the penalty area.

Bedworth stepped up the pressure in the final 15 minutes but the Nailers were resolute in defence.

Belper Town v Bedworth (green), Joe Hunt

Belper Town v Bedworth (green), Joe Hunt

Alex Troke headed a fine effort just wide from the edge of the area on 78 minutes and, despite the best efforts of the visitors to find a winner, the Nailers remained in control, surviving a couple of goal mouth scrambles in the final moments.

It was a competent display from Belper who continued to show signs of progress under Webster.

This weekend the Nailers travel to Carlton Town before a home match against Cleethorpes.

Belper Town: Livesey, Hunt, Goddard, Allen, Carlisle, Harrison, Steele, Lloyd (Browne 74), Steadman, Hallahan (Birks 84), Garnett . Unused subs: Thornberry, Cole and Daniels.

Bedworth United: Crane, Pegg (Brehon 58), Rowe, Parrott, Fitzharris, Albrighton, Rowley, Blackmore (Christie 69), Keen, Troke, Blythe. Unused subs: Smith and Cartwright

Referee: Ian Jackson.

Attendance: 217.

Belper Town v Bedworth (green), Dylan Garnett

Belper Town v Bedworth (green), Dylan Garnett