Nailers inflict Bedworth's first home defeat
Belper Town furthered their growing reputation with an impressive first half display and a pair of excellent strikes to win their second 3 pointer on their travels this season, writes Nigel Oldrini.
They also showed great defensive qualities in the second half when Bedworth came to life after the break but the hosts just couldn't break down a solid Nailers rearguard, and Belper inflicted a first home League defeat on the Greenbacks.
Chris Budrys' departure to Flint Town in midweek saw Alex Steadman and Kieran O'Connell lead the line and there was the opportunity for the long awaited debut by Leandro Browne who's drawn out international clearance finally came through.
The Nailers took time to adjust to the artificial surface that graces the Oval and during this period might have gone behind from a fierce Levi Rowley strike inside the first minute and a Iysedon Christie run that was terminated in the nick of time.
But after this, the Nailers embraced the playing surface and used it to their advantage and proceeded to take the lead with a perfectly constructed goal on 17 minutes.
Dominic Allen sent over a testing in swinging cross to the far post where Sam Birks pulled the ball back for Alex Steadman to blast into the net from 10 yards.
Steadman nearly created a second goal on 21 minutes when his run to the by-line resulted in a ball to Sam Birks on the edge of the six yard area, but he got the ball tangled up under his feet before he could get a shot away.
Bedworth were rattled at this stage and struggled to keep up with Belper's mastery of their own surface, and in the 29th minute another great move ended with a fine drive from Allen just over the cross bar.
More impressive play ensued and Haydn Goddard was unlucky with a 20-yarder that shook the cross bar.
Another goal seemed fitting to crown their first half display and it duly arrived in the 39th minute when Leandro Browne finished brilliantly with an angled drive after the ball broke kindly for him.
Is was always going to be harder after the break as Bedworth, stung no doubt by the words of their manager at half time and the substitution of some under performers, brought them to life.
Luke Rowe's free kick caused Belper problems after 51 minutes as the Greenbacks threw everything at Belper although a little more composure from Sam Birks a few minutes later might have sealed the win for Belper with 40 minutes to spare.
As it was, the home side dominated and won a string of corners and free kicks, all ably defended by the Nailers with Danny Roberts superb in the six yard area.
Luke Keen came closest for Bedworth with a shot on the turn that clipped the outside of the post and in a pressured last 10 minutes both Keen and Richard Blythe should have at least hit the target, but contrived to fire wide.
Dexter Atkinson trickery almost let in Alex Steadman for a third goal right at the end but Greenbacks' 'keeper Daniel Crane prevented further embarrassment for the home side.
Belper's win took them to 16th place in the table and with only three points separating them with 5th placed Stocksbridge, the Nailers appear to be moving in the right direction.
Bedworth United: Crane, Smith, Brehon (Bailey-Nicholls 58), Parrott, Cartwright, McAteer, Albrighton (Rowe 45), Blackmore, Christie (Keen 88), Rowley, Blythe. Unused subs: Dudley, Downie.
Belper Town: Roberts, Thornberry, Allen, Graves, Hunt, Guy, Birks (Atkinson 69), Goddard, Browne (Barr-Rostron 88), O'Connell (Garnett 74), Steadman. Unused subs: Hunt, Rathbone.
Referee: Andrew Ellis