Nailers foiled by superb goalkeeping display
The Nailers knocked on the door but had to settle for a share of the points in a 1-1 draw at Market Drayton Town, writes Nathaniel Kay.
PHOTO: Leandro Browne gives Belper an early lead (PIc: Tim Harrison)
Belper’s dream start came within only ten minutes on the clock, Leandro Browne tapping in from six yards after a flowing team move.
Anthony Danylyk’s men found their passing rhythm to fashion chances early one for Browne and Sam Birks, both saved by Haydn Whitcombe.
The home side were limited to long balls and half chances but Kieran O'Connell forced another save from Whitcombe as Belper tried to add to their advantage.
Will Dennis didn’t look at all out of place in an unaccustomed central defensive role and recovered well to block George Bowerman’s attempt.
Drayton came close with Sean Geddes striking over with ten minutes to go to the break but a late surge of pressure paid off as Bowerman scored with a minute left on the clock.
The woodwork came to Belper’s the rescue twice in the second half. Javia Roberts struck the post within a minute then substitute Ellis Judd was then denied by the crossbar.
Belper’s reply was to call Whitcombe into action on several occasions. Eric Graves; poked effort, then a second chance from Alex Steadman were stopped in quick succession.
Drayton’s hero off the day saved the best for Max Hunt, who's point blank header was somehow tipped over.
Neither side could find a clear opening and Belper were left frustrated after a final flurry of late pressure failed to turn the game their way
In many respects the draw was a fair result, although the Nailers will point to a fine goal keeping performance from Whitcombe in denying all three points.
Manager Danylyk had mentioned about prioritising the league beforehand and Belper duly stretched their unbeaten League record to five.
Market Drayton Town: Whitcombe, Griffiths, Haines, Gregory, Maslen-Jones, Kalenda (Judd 45), Roberts, Melligan, Bowerman, Geddes (Tindall- Bennett 59), Cole (Porter 63). Unused subs: Johnson, Evans.
Belper Town: Roberts, Thornbury (Barr-Rostron 83), Hunt, Graves, Hunt, Dennis, Birks (Atkinson 69), Goddard, Browne, O’Connell (Garnett 69), Steadman. Unused subs: Rathbone, Constable.
Referee: Paul Stonier