Honours even in opening friendly
By David Laughlin
Belper Town kicked off their pre-season preparations with a 1-1 draw at Parkhouse FC last Saturday.
The Clay Cross based club who have been promoted to the Central Midlands Supreme Division this season stunned a new look Nailers outfit by scoring after 75 seconds before most of the players on the field had even touched the ball.
An in swinging cross from the right hand side drifted over Matt Plant and Richard Adams and left Lee Clay the relatively easy task of heading past Ali Barcherini.
This was certainly a different line up to the one that competed in the last league fixture against Cammell Laird last season, with Richard Adams, Mark Barnard and Luke Fedorenko the only players who were involved in that final game against the Lairds.
However Asa Ingall has rejoined the Nailers and played in the first half against Parkhouse, but goalkeeper Ali Barcherini defender Matt Plant, right back Ryan Booker, strikers Nathan Swindells and Justin Jenkins were all on view for the first time.
Former Matlock Town reserve player Jack Weaver and Belper reserve winger Lee Warriner made up the starting eleven and while there were some good things about that first half performance, the poor start and the fact that it was their first game as a team obviously affected the overall flow of the game.
Aaron Pride, Rob Paling, David Barnett, Ollie Warren, Jon Froggatt, Levi Ramsay and Lewis Pearce had their chance after the break and there appeared to be a marked improvement.
Ramsay almost grabbed an equaliser with a penetrating run ending with a shot against the post virtually from the whistle, and as the Nailers dominated the early stages of the second period a deserved equaliser arrived in the 57th minute.
Pearce hit a low shot from 20 yards that the Parkhouse ‘keeper only parried and Ollie Warren was on hand to snap up the rebound.
It was better all round performance from the Nailers after this and with Ramsay looking dangerous every time he had the ball, a second goal should have been forthcoming.
Jon Froggatt was very involved as was Rob Paling in midfield so at these very early stages of pre-season there were more positives than negatives to be taken from this first game of what is a new era for the Nailers.