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Black backs Belper all the way

By David Laughlin

Grant Black had no complaints over his team’s performance against Stamford in the FA Trophy, despite the tie ending goalless, writes Nathaniel Kay

In a post-match interview after in a tight encounter with tough opposition, Black (pictured) said “I’ve just said to the boys that as the management team, we can’t ask for anymore. They’ve done everything they could to win a football match.”

The match certainly won’t go down as a classic, however the few chances Belper did conjure up were swiftly snubbed by the Stamford standout performer, goalkeeper Danny Haystead.

Black summarised the individual display perfectly, saying: “It’s taken their keeper to pull off three saves that if you saw them in the Premier League, they wouldn’t look out of place.”

Without Haystead, the tie could have been done and dusted yet Black typically found the positives from his side, saying: “As far as I’m concerned, it’s another clean sheet. It’s now seven games unbeaten and we are still in the hat for the next round.”

The replay will take place at Stamford on Tuesday night but Belper are likely be without captain Danny South, who had to hobble off with an ankle injury early in the first half.

“He’s playing really well at the moment for us so it’s always a kick in the teeth to lose someone, especially that early on in the game,” Black said, responding to the injury to his skipper.

South is yet to miss a game this season and has been key to the Nailers recent rise, although Black may have found a suitable replacement.

He said: “Another positive is that we’ve asked someone to come in there and not his ideal position, but Alex Peterson didn’t look at of place at all.”

Along with Morpeth Town, Belper are arguably the in-form team in the division with a seven game unbeaten streak, stretching back to September 15th.

Black’s recipe for success is simple, saying: “As a manager all you can ask, and we demand this no matter who’s playing, is for the team to work hard.

“I think spectators will appreciate that as well and as far as I’m concerned that’s why we are getting results.”

“We are working hard as individuals, we are working hard as a team and we’ve got individuals in good form.

"It can soon creep up to 10-12 matches unbeaten and then we really are putting ourselves in with a chance being where we want to be.”

Looking ahead to Tuesdays tie, Black insisted more of the same could reap the rewards he is searching for.

“We will go there with same plan that we had today. If we apply ourselves properly we we’ll give ourselves a chance of winning the game.”

Updated 13:05 - 14 Oct 2018 by David Laughlin

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