Nailers’ FA Trophy dream is over
Belper’s four game unbeaten streak ended after a 2-1 Buildbase FA Trophy defeat to Alvechurch, writes Nathaniel Kay.
PHOTO: Kieran O'Connell tucks away the Nailers penalty (Pic: Tim Harrison)
The meeting of 13th against seventh in the Evo-Stik Division One South began with the visitors on top.
Tom Turton’s early volleyed effort stung the palms of Danny Roberts who pushed the attempt wide for a corner.
Despite the early pressure, Belper fashioned their own chance as Will Dennis cross slash shot was parried by Yasmin Keranovic back into a dangerous area.
Alvechurch’s dominance paid off as full-back Jamie Ashmore played Daniel Dubidat in behind the Belper backline who finished smartly across Roberts.
One turned in to two, as the ball fell at the feet of Turton once more from a Alvechurch corner, who smashed a brilliant volley past the outstretched arms of Roberts and into the back of the net, skimming off the crossbar on its way in.
This was the wakeup call the home side needed and they were given a lifeline with a penalty.
The ball struck the arm of Ashmore of which who knew little about but having clearly stopped the flow of the play, referee Kevin Saunby pointed to the spot.
Kieran O’Connell dispatched coolly into the bottom left on 34 minutes.
Moments later O’Connell missed a golden chance from six yards out as his headed over the bar.
Belper came out on top after the break, having new found confidence from their goal.
Captain Eric Graves’ terrific dribble took him to the byline only to see his cutback to Dexter Atkinson skewed wide.
On the hour, O’Connell smartly played in the on rushing Graves who dragged his shot wide.
Belper had a goal ruled out by the referee for a foul as the game began to open up.
Alvechurch had a couple of efforts from Ashmore and Dubidat blocked valiantly inside the area by the Nailer’s defence.
But Belper’s chances of getting back into it were hit with 13 minutes to go when John Guy was sent off for a late tackle on Josh March.
Cessay’s header from the resulting free-kick was brilliantly saved one handed by Roberts.
Belper fought to the end and fashioned a final chance with Graves firing wide from distance.
Belper Town: Roberts, Dennis, Allen, Graves, Hunt, Guy, Birks (Garnett 86), Goddard, Atkinson (Browne 57), O’Connell, Steadman. Unused subs: Hunt, Barr- Rostron, Rathbone.
Alvechurch: Keranovic, Ashmore, Foster, Turton, Willets, Carter, Sauane, Botfield (Yates 79), Dubidat, Ceesay, March (Roberts). Unused subs: Parson, Williams, Withington.
Referee: Kevin Saunby.