Haystead heroics deny Nailers in FA Trophy stalemate
A goalless draw between Belper and Stamford in this FA Trophy clash forced a replay at the Zeeco Stadium on Tuesday evening, writes Nathaniel Kay.
PHOTO: George Milner sees his effort fly over the crossbar in an early Belper attack (Pic: Tim Harrison)
Grant Black made two changes following their fine away performance at Stocksbridge Park Steels last Saturday.
Darol Lucas and Danny Frost missed out with Jake Sturgess and George Milner taking their places, the latter after suspension.
An evenly contested opening was typical of recent games between the two clubs, having drawn their two previous meetings.
Nathan Curtis carved two half chances, skewing a diving header wide following a Rikki Paylor pull back, before lashing a speculative effort wide.
Although the in-form team, Belper struggled to fashion much in the way of clear cut chances, although but perhaps more so than the visitors who had to settle for long balls and set pieces to keep a foothold in the tie.
Top scorer Curtis cut through into open space, before releasing Piteu Crouz who held his run on the edge of the box. Taking his marker wide, Crouz crashed a shot towards Danny Haystead in the Stamford net, with the ex-Belper ‘keeper parrying back to George Milner whose rebound sailed over the bar.
Regardless of the Nailers knocking at the door, it was Stamford who created the clearest chance of half when Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson delivered a great cross but Joe Burgess’s awful miss could not match the delivery.
Time stood still for a moment following the restart, as Fortnam-Tomlinson strode through towards the Belper goal but Leigh Overton was forced into a highly necessary save with his legs.
The tie burst into much needed life after that. Craig Nelthorpe swirled a wicked cross which looked to be dipping into the top corner and forcing Haystead to tip the ball over his own bar.
At the other end, Haystead went one better, stopping Nathan Curtis’s acrobatic overhead kick with a fine reaction save to tip the ball over the bar.
Haystead then demonstrated his full range of ability between the sticks when George Milner fizzed a fine shot bending towards the top corner, only to be foiled by another fantastic stop by the Stamford ‘keeper.
With the wind gusting across the pitch, the conditions generally made for a less than pretty affair as neither side could get a clear hold of the tie, however Overton, largely a spectator in the second period, had to get down swiftly to smother Liam Adams and keep the score level.
Belper’s late rally came to very little and a trip to Stamford would be required. Being involved in three cup competitions, as well as the battling in the league, a replay was not the ideal result for Grant Black and his squad.
However, the undefeated run extended to seven games and a draw was far from being the worst result.
Belper Town: Overton, Sturgess, Clark, Paylor, Assenso, South (Peterson 44), Nelthorpe, Robson, Milner, Curtis, Crouz. Unused subs: Johal, Gordon, Esmaeily.
Stamford: Haystead, Cooke, Eggington, Garvie (Brown-Hill 62), Miller, Salt, Burgess (Adams 79), Duffy, Ryan, Fortnam-Tomlinson (Adams 79), Challinor. Unused subs: Morris, Bates, Tarris.
Referee: Leslie Sinclair