Graves shines as Nailers come back against Spirites XI
The Nailers came from behind three times including a last-minute equaliser to secure a draw in the penultimate pre-season friendly of the year.
Alex Steadman’s cool and composed finish in the final minute of the game secured the Nailers a draw against a youthful but certainly talented Chesterfield side.
Sam Weston played a stunning ball forward to Joe Hunt before the full-back put a ball in to Steadman who finished well with next to no time remaining.
Chesterfield were extremely clinical throughout the night, with Ricky German and Levi Amantchi looking extremely classy in front of goal.
Amantchi opened the scoring just two minutes in after a superb tricky run gave him the chance to power the ball into the back of the net as well as putting his side 3-2 up in the second half.
But Belper responded brilliantly every time they went behind; with skipper Eric Graves equalising not long after Amantchi opened the scoring.
Fenwick Butcher made a fantastic run down the left before putting in an excellent ball that found Graves who finished excellently.
Graves was involved yet again for the second equaliser after Ricky German restored the Spirites lead, he made a brilliant run down the right before putting in a superb cross before Sam Birks headed it home well.
Praise should not be reserved primarily to the forwards, but also for the defence who, despite conceding three goals, looked strong against some high-quality forwards. John Guy and Max Thornberry seemed to win every single aerial duel that they faced and forced Chesterfield into playing on the ground.
The competitive nature of this game was a perfect workout with the Nailers, facing a highly talented side and with both teams looking determined to get a win for their side.
The final game of pre-season comes in the Caroline Melbourne cup when the Nailers travel to Matlock on Friday, kicking off at 7:30pm.