Alvechurch maintain upper hand again
The Nailers had the opportunity to avenge their FA Trophy defeat of a couple of weeks ago, but slipped to a disappointing home defeat by two clear goals, writes Nigel Oldrini
PHOTO: Ben Hutchinson made his debut for the Nailers (Pic: Tim Harrison)
Belper Town introduced new striker Ben Hutchinson (pictured) signed recently from Basford United, and he played centrally upfront flanked by Kieran O’Connell and Alex Steadman. Will Dennis retained his place alongside Max Hunt as Jon Guy served his last game of his suspension.
The Nailers were meeting Alvechurch for the second time in a fortnight after Church came out on top in the Buildbase FA Trophy encounter at the Marston’s Stadium.
The Nailers won a free kick after only two minutes with debutant striker Ben Hutchinson firing the shot against the defensive wall and Haydn Goddard hit a screamer just over the cross bar.
Alex Steadman ran in goal in the 10th minute following a clever knock-on from Kieran O’Connell however Jamie Willets came across to brilliantly cut out the shot.
Great work from Joe Hunt resulted in a cross to Steadman at the near post and the Belper striker’s flick went straight to Lewis Gwilliams.
Will Dennis conceded a free kick on the edge of the area for which he received a yellow card on 32 minutes and as a result, Alvechurch took the lead after Danny Dubidat struck the free kick into the far corner of the net.
The visitors were holding the advantage in possession although the Nailers had their moments, particularly in the 40th minute, when some intricate passing involving Eric Graves should have yielded benefits but the skipper’s cross was cut out by a Church defender.
Belper tried to turn the tables possession wise in the latter stages of the half but lacked quality in the final third.
The visitors had two players booked as some heavy tackles came in but the Nailers had to settles for being one goal adrift at the break.
The visitors started the second half on the attack but the Nailers came close to an equaliser with their first sortie up field culminating in Kieran O’Connell’s left foot angled drive was parried by Gwilliams.
The Nailers were in desperate need of a spark of ingenuity and Haydn Goddard almost provided it in the 57th minute as he tried to curl a shot inside the post but Gwilliams saved comfortably at full stretch.
Church held the upper hand generally and in the 62nd minute they walked through the Belper defence for Josh March to shoot into the side netting.
The Nailers made two substitutions in quick succession in an attempt to liven things up but it was the visitors who carved open a clear opportunity in the 74th minute but Yusifu Ceesay volleyed over a peach of a cross from Josh March.
Alvechurch as good as wrapped up the points in the 86th minute when Babucar Sauane guided the ball just inside the far post after the Nailers had been stretched at the back.
Alex Steadman should have made the last five minutes more interesting after being put clear by Kieran O’Connell but he sliced the ball beyond the far post when it looked easier to score.
It had been an uninspiring display by Anthony Danylyck’s men who slipped down the table to 16th as a result.
Belper Town: Roberts, Hunt, Allen (Barr-Rostron 66), Graves, Hunt, Dennis, Browne (Birks 74), Goddard, Hutchinson (Garnett 64), O'Connell, Steadman. Unused subs: Thornberry, Rathbone.
Alvechurch: Gwilliams, Ashmore, Foster, Turton, Willets, Carter (Dallison 72), Bellis, Sauane, Dubidat (Waite 80), Ceesay, (Botfield 90) March. Unused subs: Yates, Keranovic.
Referee: Jack Shepherd