Mickleover Sports’ quick passing and movement gave the Nailers a tough test in Belper’s latest pre-season encounter and they deservedly won 2-1 at the Marston’s Stadium.
Andy Dales opened the scoring for Sports just minutes into the second-half, when he delightfully lobbed the ball over Nailer’s ‘keeper Danny Haystead after being played through one-on-one by Anthony Griffiths.
Belper got themselves back into the game just before the hour mark as full-back Jason Bradley cut inside from the right and arrowed a left-footed shot towards the far corner which Mickleover ‘keeper Ross Atkins could only tip further into his top right-hand corner.
Mickleover secured the win 15 minutes from time when substitute Charlie Dawes broke down the left-hand side of Belper’s defence and smashed the ball across goal into the bottom corner.
Griffiths was unlucky not to get himself on the scoresheet just before half-time, first hitting the bar from close range following a goal-mouth scramble then crashing a free-kick off the upright on the stroke of half-time.
Both teams created several chances throughout the game and both goalkeepers were kept busy all night, Belper’s Haystead making two fine saves from Bennett and Dales in the first-half to keep his clean sheet intact.
Former Derby County goalkeeper Atkins also made two important saves for Mickleover in the second half, beating away a curled effort from Evan Garnett and then tipping a low strike from Rob Stevenson around the post after good work from Phil Watt.
The Nailers will be disappointed they only scored one as they had two chances from corners cleared off the line in the first-half, Grant Ryan also headed against the post and Josh Marshall had his effort cleared off the line from the rebound.
The weather had a part to play in the game when heavy showers started to fall, making life difficult for players on both sides as the ball was skidding up and away off of the greasy surface.
Belper Town: Haystead; Bradley (Marshall 55), Purcicoe, Watt, Johnson; William, Wilson (c)), Towey; Garnett, Ryan, Stevenson (Sanyang 85).
Subs: Cooksey, Taylor, Kabanje, Divver.
Mickleover Sports: Atkins; Bryant, Walker, Degirolamo, Bennett; Broadhead, Dales, Griffiths JR (Hazel 65), McGrath, Fairclough (Dawes 65); Oshoboke (Ricketts 55).
Subs: Wiley, Turner (GK)