First Division South
Belper Town 3
Shepshed Dynamo 1
A BRACE of Jon Froggatt goals helped Belper Town end their dismal run of home form and give the Nailers a boost before a difficult festive season programme.
With the Nailers having slumped to 18th place in the league table in recent weeks, this fixture against next to bottom Shepshed assumed great importance for both teams.
Manager Peter Duffield gave league debuts to ‘keeper Gavin Saxby and strikers Aron Wint and Chris Adam in an attempt to change his side’s fortunes, particularly at home where the Nailers hadn’t won since the beginning of October.
Jordan Turner was named as a substitute after completing a three game suspension while Andy Rushbury, Greg Wright, Michael Simpkins and Andy Richmond; all previously regulars in the starting line up were also named on the bench.
The Dynamo side that picked up a point against Leek Town in midweek included former Nailers’ Sam Carter and Rob Paling in their team.
Aron Wint forced Sam Andrew into a great save with a well struck shot on the turn in the 10th minute after both sides had tested each other out in the early stages, but Belper’s loan player from Scunthorpe had registered the game’s first direct effort on goal.
Dan White’s lunge on Steve Chaplin in the 13th minute was adjudged to be on the edge of the penalty area, but Richard Wilson’s free kick bounced harmlessly away off the defensive wall. In the 23rd minute Aron Wint turned his man and curled a shot straight to Sam Andrew, but moments later the play switched to the other end and Luke Smith hit a crisply struck half volley just wide from 22 yards.
Wint caused problems for Shepshed with a 30th minute free kick that was eventually claimed by the ‘keeper, and the Nailers nearly created an opening moments later with some neat interchanging of passes involving Wint and Chris Adam, but without any end product forthcoming.
The Nailers unpicked Shepshed with another good move in the 35th minute with Charlie Weir feeding Ashley Longstaff who fired in a good shot to the near post, but he had better reward a minute later when he took advantage of an error by a Dynamo defender and took the ball on to execute a cool finish past the exposed ‘keeper.
Belper had deserved their interval lead but needed to consolidate by scoring another goal as soon as they could.
That goal almost came in the 50th minute when the Nailers broke quickly and Chris Adam put Ashley Longstaff in with a clear shot but his effort to the far post hit the upright and went straight to Sam Andrew.
Ben Leonard sent a shot over the cross bar from the edge of the penalty area on 53 minutes and as the Nailers warmed to the task Anton Wint hit a fiercely stuck effort across the six yard box that just needed a touch finish from someone running in.
The Nailers should have scored in the 67th minute when Jon Froggatt and Chris Adam linked up well, and Ashley Longstaff headed wide when Ben Leonard was better positioned.
However in the 69th minute Shepshed punished Belper on the break and Lee Weemes equalised with a shot that took a deflection on its way past Gavin Saxby.
The Nailers nearly restored their lead in the 73rd minute after Aron Wint ran into the box and his effort came out to Chris Adam, and he connected with the ball perfectly with the ball destined for the far corner before Sam Andrew pushed it away at full stretch.
But Belper maintained their momentum and scored in the 74th minute when Jon Froggatt drilled the ball into the net from 15 yards, but only after efforts from three other Belper players had been blocked on the goal line.
Belper looked dangerous each time they went up field and in the 76th minute Wint created problems before crossing into the box and Dynamo were relieved to see the ball go to Sam Andrew when the Nailers should really have put the game beyond the visitors.
The all important third goal came in the 83rd minute when Ashley Longstaff collected the ball in space and delivered the perfect cross for Jon Froggatt to head firmly past the ‘keeper to confirm three vital three points for Peter Duffield’s men.
This was a much better display from the Nailers who gave their supporters something to get excited about, and the fans applauded the team as they left the field at the final whistle.
Belper Town: Saxby, Pride, Weir, Meikle, Adams, White, Wint (Wright 89), Leonard, Froggatt, Longstaff (Turner 85), Adam (Rushbury 78). Unused subs: Simpkins, Richmond.
Shepshed Dynamo: Andrew, Paling, Sturgess, Smith, Carter, Hore, Rennalls, Krasniqi, Chaplin, Weemes, Wilson (Law 64). Unused subs: Burton, Muggleton, O’Connor, Jenkins.
Referee: Mark Hutchinson (Bingham)
Match sponsor: Lubrizol
Man of the match: Ben Leonard.
Next in action:
Boxing Day, Monday, December 26th - Evo-Stik First Division South - BELPER TOWN v Sheffield FC, 3pm.