Evo-Stik NPL Division One South
Goole AFC 0, Belper Town 3
By Nigel Oldrini
BELPER Town had a welcome return to winning ways with a comfortable 3-0 win over Goole at the Victoria Pleasure Grounds on Tuesday evening.
Manager Peter Duffield had acted quickly to strengthen his side following the embarrassing defeat at Market Drayton a few days earlier, and former Sheffield FC striker Ashley Longstaff made his debut along with Charlie Weir who was re-signed from Brigg Town.
Ben Leonard returned to add much needed strength in midfield with Jamie Smith dropping to substitute while Alan O’Hare came into the back four leaving Richard Adams amongst the substitutes.
There was an early scare for the Nailers when they were caught out in the first minute and Arron Martin fired into the side netting when better options were available to him.
However, this was a game in which the Nailers looked solid in defence and the Vikings rarely came as close to scoring again.
Goole didn’t have the same surety in their back line and the Nailers made them pay for poor marking and indecisiveness.
Greg Wright set Belper on their way in the 10th minute when he tucked away an easy chance after a corner kick was allowed to reach him at the back post, and he had time to pick his spot and score.
A poor clearance from the Goole ‘keeper went straight to Ashley Longstaff who wasted no time in trying to convert the half chance, but his well struck shot veered away from the far post at the last moment.
Jon Froggatt burst through to send a fiercely struck shot just past the post in the 17th minute, and then Goole’s Simon Harrison threaded a shot on the turn just past the upright in a rare moment of danger from the Vikings.
A static Goole defence conceded a second goal in the 32nd minute after Deon Meikle’s miss-hit shot trickled to the unmarked Jon Froggatt who took one touch before putting the ball beyond the despairing arms of Aaron Chapman.
Jon Froggatt set up Charlie Weir with an intelligent through ball in the 37th minute but Weir was unable to keep his shot down and spurned the opportunity to get a goal on his debut.
However, Belper’s other debutant, Ashley Longstaff made the most of his opportunity when it came in the 39th minute and he converted a very difficult opportunity from a narrow angle, and put the ball just inside the far post to give the Nailers a firm grip on the game.
Most of the second half was as much about containment as anything else as the Vikings changed things on the field at half time and tried to push forward more frequently.
The Nailers certainly had to do more defending and were less prominent in the Goole half of the field but Andy Richmond was never called upon to do much more than routing goalkeeping.
Ashley Longstaff weighed in with a speculative effort in the 59th minute that went just wide, and Deon Meikle effort on 75 minutes was equally as close.
The Nailers weathered 25 minutes of pressure from the Vikings before possession evened out, and by the closing minutes of the game Belper were exerting pressure of their own against a dispirited Goole side.
In fact substitute Jordan Turner should have made the victory more emphatic when he fired over a good opportunity in the final moments.
Goole AFC: Chapman, Wright D, Jeffs (Powell 45), Sturdy, Hellewell, Johnson, Stratford, Bloor, Harrison (Robson 74), Martin, Cotton. Unused subs: Stirland, Cuttell, Pugh.
Belper Town: Richmond, Pride, Magee, Meikle, Wright, O’Hare, Marrison (Smith 83), Leonard, Froggatt (Turner J 79), Longstaff, Weir (Ellis 87). Unused subs: Adams, Turner T)
Referee: M Dwyer (East Yorks) Attendance: 115
Goals: Belper Town - Greg Wright (10), Jon Froggatt (32), Ashley Longstaff (39).