Late winner sees Nailers make Cup progress
By David Laughlin
Belper Town edged a closely fought Derbyshire Senior Cup clash against Mickleover Sports at Christchurch Meadow with Simon Harrison’s stunning shot sending the Nailers through in added-on time.
Jon Froggatt made his first start this season and lasted the full 90 minutes (Photo: Tim Harrison)
Belper manager Peter Duffield made changes to the starting line up for this local derby clash with skipper Steve Warne, Shaun Roulston, Mark Ward, Darryl Thomas and Karl Colley all rested.
Jon Froggatt was starting his first game of the season while two reserve team players, Blake Owen and Sam Vickers were included on the bench.
The Nailers had the ball in the net in the 3rd minute but the referee disallowed Richard Adam’s header after spotting an infringement and then they won a free kick on the edge of the penalty area in the 8th minute although Simon Harrison’s shot went straight into the arms of Tom Gutteridge.
Jon Froggatt was denied a goal by the referee’s assistant’s flag a minute later and the early stages had belonged to the Nailers, territorially at least.
Colin Marrison headed over an Aaron Pride cross soon afterwards and Belper kept the pressure on, with a series of corners and free kicks.
Jon Froggatt turned well on the edge of the penalty area in the 20th minute but couldn’t strike the ball well enough to beat the ‘keeper from close range.
Rob Ritchie-Smith nearly caught Aaron Chapman out with a firmly struck drive from 23 yards in the 25th minute, however the Belper custodian managed to push the ball around the post for a corner kick.
Against the run of play, it was Mickleover who took the lead in the 30th minute when former Belper striker, Alex Steadman capitalised on hesitancy in the Nailers’ defence and prodded the ball just inside the near post past the oncoming Aaron Chapman.
The Nailers struggled to impose themselves for the remainder of the half and whereas in the early stages they had dominated the game, it was Mickleover who now held the edge.
Jon Froggatt had a half chance with an angled shot on 44 minutes as the Nailers staged a revival in the last minutes of the half; although just before the half time whistle, Eric Graves forced a great save from Aaron Chapman with a shot to the near post.
Shaun Tuton turned inside the penalty area and saw his shot deflected away for a corner as the Nailers responded to a half time roasting from Peter Duffield.
The game had increased in tempo in the second period but the quality of the passing wasn’t consistent and the Nailers were still waiting for their first real chance to score.
The Nailers were unfortunate in the 65th minute when Shaun Tuton set Danny Deakin up for a cross into the 6-yard box but the ball was cleared before it reached the danger area.
There was an opportunity for Belper in the 70th minute when Rob Ritchie-Smith hauled Danny Deakin down on the edge of the area, but Simon Harrison’s free kick was deflected for a corner.
Jon Froggatt put a near post header just wide from a good cross by Andy Rushbury on 73 minutes, and Belper pressure finally paid of in the 77th minute when Colin Marrison forced the ball in from close range for the equalizer.
Shaun Tuton should have put Belper ahead moments later when he was clean through but hit the ball high over the bar, and Richard Stirrup spurned another great chance when he put his shot well over the top.
Shaun Tuton put another effort wide in the 86th minute as Belper pushed for a winner and the game had developed into a typical end-to-end cup tie.
Simon Harrison put Belper in the lead in the first minute of added-on time with an excellent strike that beat the ‘keeper on the bounce into the far corner of the net, and it was sufficient to send the Nailers into the next round.
Belper Town: Chapman, Pride, Rushbury, Stirrup, Adams, Wright, Harrison, Marrison, Froggatt, Tuton, Deakin (Ward 75). Unused subs: Owen, Vickers, Colley, Ratcliffe.
Mickleover Sports: Gutteridge, Munn, Guy, Smith-Smith, Wood, Coulson, Graves, Smythe (Moon 51), Land, Rushton (O’Donnell 71), Steadman. Unused subs: Martin, Smith
Referee: Paul Vardy (Eckington)
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