By Dominic Hynes
Belper Town returned to action with a 4-2 pre-season friendly win against Ashby Ivanhoe on Saturday.
The Nailers faced the Leicestershire-based club in what was changed to a behind closed doors friendly due to Ashby Ivanhoe’s regular ground being unavailable, meaning fans were disappointed to be unable to watch Charlie Palmer’s men.
The Nailers found themselves behind 19 minutes in, as from a free-kick out wide, Belper couldn’t clear their lines and the Ashby striker headed home.
That came just minutes after Jordan Ball had crashed a shot against the crossbar for the Nailers.
Ashby Ivanhoe went on to extended their lead on the 30th minute mark as striker Danny Quinn scored following another piece of poor defending leading to the opportunity, something which would surely be frustrating Nailers boss Palmer.
However, Belper pulled a goal back nine minutes later when Reuben Wiggins-Thomas netted to restore some hope.
Belper’s defiant mood continued, as just one minute later they found themselves level. The Nailers pressed Ashby Ivanhoe well and quickly regained possession from kick off, the ball then found its way to Ball who finished to make it 2-2 going into the break.
The Nailers controlled the opening minutes of the second-half and began to look more in control of the game.
Their greater possession eventually led to Belper taking the lead for the first time in the game as, 68 minutes in, a good delivery from a corner fell to the feet of defender Ross Parker who hammered the ball home.
The game continued to be dominated by the Nailers, with them cutting out almost any chances that Ashby Ivanhoe had, and the pressing and hard work that Charlie Palmer had asked of his players was clearly visible.
This fast-paced pressing saw Belper’s most recent signing, Jermain Hollis, quickly steal the ball from an Ashby Ivanhoe defender. He then laid the ball off well for one of the Nailers’ trialists to finish and make it 4-2.
Belper went on to see the game out having showed that they have the ability to bounce back.
With six of their key players sidelined the early blip against Ashby won’t have concerned Charlie Palmer too much, but the fightback was nonetheless encouraging.
Belper Town are next in action when they face South Normanton Athletic away on Thursdaynight.