Belper Town earned a second draw of the season to continue an unbeaten start in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League away to Halesowen Town on Tuesday night, with a similar turn of events to the previous game that saw Belper draw at home to Ashton United, writes Joe Malone.
The first chance produced a goal for the home side, after a cagey start to proceedings. The ball was switched from left to right to the unmarked Peter Till. He then sent a cross towards the far post for the unmarked Elliot Turner, whose sidefooted half volley swept effortlessly into the back of the net, beyond the reach of Martin.
The Nailers then responded well and dominated for the remainder of the first half, with a good chance coming after 20 minutes for striker Jon Froggatt.
The ball was played forward from midfield, and with a neat spin, Froggatt turned away from two defenders and curled a lovely shot towards the left hand corner, only to see the ball rebound off the post and into the grateful arms of Sargeant.
In a game of few chances, Belper were then awarded a penalty after a handball inside the area two minutes before the break. Jon Froggatt stepped up and struck the ball straight down the middle, however the goalkeeper held his position to save the shot low down with his legs.
However, the home side were given little chance to breathe before the ball found its way into the box just moments later with the same attack.
Ian Ross sent a cross in from the right which was attacked at the far post by Kieran Wells, and knocked down in a central area for Colin Marrison to scramble the ball home five yards from goal, to ensure the two teams shared the spoils at half-time.
The second half proved to be one way traffic for a large proportion, with corner after corner going begging for the Nailers. To Halesowen’s credit, a stern defensive performance made certain that Belper wouldn’t take the points.
Further chances came through Edridge and Wells for Belper, and Thompson-Brown and Haseley for Halesowen, and a late penalty appeal for Belper was waved away by referee Garrett. However, both goalkeepers earned their money with a string of good saves, and the game reached its climax with the expression “it’s as you were”.
Halesowen Town: Matthew Sargeant, Kristian Green, Asa Charlton, Aaron Forde (Samuel Pearson 74), Joseph Hull, Curtis Tilt, Daniel Bragoli, Elliot Turner (Thomas Tonks 72), Robert Thompson-Brown (Joel Kettle 84), Ben Haseley, Peter Till. Subs: Neil Mackenzie, Aaron Griffiths.
Belper Town: James Martin, Chris Jones, Billy Bennett, Ian Ross, Regan Edridge, Dan White, Colin Marrison, Steve Warne, Jon Froggatt, Kieran Wells (Mark Ward 67), Rob Stevenson (Aaron Cole 70). Subs: Simon Harrison, Aaron Pride, Scott Low.
Referee: Andrew Garrett (Walsall)