Webster: ‘We might have lost that a couple of months ago’

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Aaron Webster admitted Saturday’s draw at home to Stamford was a game Belper Town might have lost two months ago.

The performance was met with mixed feelings from the Nailers boss who voiced a disappointment with his players when they were in possession of the ball.

Yet Webster was also pleased with the resilience his side showed against a Stamford team pushing for promotion in the Evo-Stik League South Division.

The goalless draw extended Belper’s unbeaten run to four games in March ahead of the Easter schedule which sees two games in three days.

He said: “I was a little bit disappointed with the way we played with the ball. In the games leading up to that one we looked very comfortable in possession, created chances and got ourselves into some very good situations.

“We probably didn’t start that well and it filtered through for the rest of the game. Stamford starting passing it early and we weren’t as confident as we had been in possession but saying that we were superb without the ball.

“That was maybe a game we could have lost a couple of months ago when the other team has so many set pieces, long throws and possession. The doggedness, resilience, team ethic I was over the moon with.

“If we could have strung a couple more passes together, because when we actually did, which was sparingly, we looked quite good, but it just wasn’t enough as had been recently. But on the whole there were a lot of positives to take from that game.”

And added: “We’re trying to take the run as far as we can. Three was a milestone when we drew against Romulus in the week, even though I was a bit disappointed with that result and performance, we didn’t lose.

“I was happy not to lose that game, even though they had 10 men for the best part of an hour, and Saturday followed through. We stayed in the game and when we do that we give ourselves a chance to maybe nick one.”

A key player for Belper of late has been former Burton Albion midfielder Lee Williamson and Webster said his influence on the team was visible.

“He’s an important player when he starts,” said Webster. “He’s valuable to me as an assistant and he’s even more valuable when he’s out there on the pitch. When he’s out there he gets more out of everyone.

“There’s a little more belief when he plays, especially with the attacking players. He can maybe get the ball down more in the final third with his quality; he’s very clever with his passes and he’s a goal threat.

“Without the ball he’s very dogged. He’s been a central midfielder throughout his career and he likes a tackle. It’s great for me to have, he’s played in the Championship, and he’s still got the hunger and the desire to put his body on the line every week.

“If the lads see him doing these things they must think ‘why can’t I do that as well?’”

First up for the Nailers over Easter is a trip to take on Romulus, 11 days after the reverse fixture which ended 2-2, before a home match against Sheffield FC.

Webster said: “We know their style and the way they play. We can be set up more to deal with what they throw at us. It’ll be the same for them. But we know we didn’t play our best in that game and we can go there and surprise them.

“The lads looked like they just expected it to come. We had two good performances and we looked like we just had to turn up and win. That’s obviously not the case in this league or any other league.

“You’ve got to earn the right to find your space on the pitch, to dominate, to get the ball. Even the best teams don’t turn up and expect it to happen. But we battled back from 2-1 down to get the equaliser and a point.

“We’ve got to think we can play so much better than what we did against them the last time. We’re confident of getting a result. We’ve just got to believe as a team and as players on the pitch that we can keep this run going.”