Nailers can’t break ten-man Scholars down as hosts hold out in stalemate

Photo by Tim Harrison
Photo by Tim Harrison

Belper Town were held to a goalless draw in their game at Chasetown on Saturday, as despite an intense 90 minutes, neither team could find themselves a winner.

The Nailers had never lost in an away fixture against Chasetown, with three draws and three wins in their six previous meetings at the Scholars Ground, and manager Charlie Palmer was looking for this to continue.

However, Palmer would have been worried early on as they suffered two injuries, Matt Richards and Ross Parker substituted for what looked like serious knocks. They were replaced by Mike Armstrong and Gerome Palmer.

The first major opportunity of the game fell to the substitute Armstrong. A promising cross from the right hand side looked to sit up perfectly for Armstrong’s volley, however he dragged the shot just wide.

In the earlier moments of the game, Chasetown tried to play a number of long balls to their forwards, but Phil Watt was stopping everything they were doing in the air, forcing them to play on the floor more often.

Watt was making his 100th appearance for the Nailers and was showing the quality that he still brings to the side.

The biggest chance of the first-half fell to Chasetown, as a cross from the left found its way to Mitch Piggon, but he could not get a clean contact on his shot and it was eventually cleared.

At the end of the half, there was a sudden downpour of rain, enough to make the surface very difficult for the players thereafter.

The difficulty of the surface was illustrated in the 52nd minute as Reuben Wiggins-Thomas put in a fantastic low ball towards the feet of Alex Steadman, but as he went to strike the ball he slipped and couldn’t get a proper connection, making it very easy for the goalkeeper to save.

The stand out moment of the game was the dismissal of Chasetown defender Matt Wood, the referee feeling that his crunching tackle on Belper skipper Eric Graves was deserving of a straight red card.

This would not be the final red card of the afternoon, with Chasetown manager Dave Stringer ordered to leave his technical area by the referee, however, he controversially was only stood beside the dugout and was still giving instructions from that position.

The Nailers took control of the game from that moment on with them creating a number of chances but struggled to break down the Chasetown defence.

Belper: Haystead, Bryant, Watt, Parker, Guy, Graves, Hollis, Williams, Wiggins-Thomas, Richards, Steadman.

Subs: Ball, G Palmer, J Palmer, Armstrong, Gatter.

Att: 169