Nailers crush Lincoln to make cup progress
By David Laughlin
Belper Town maintained their defence of the Evo-Stik League President’s Cup with a thumping 6-0 victory at Ashby Avenue.
The Nailers rested Richard Adams, bringing in Craig Laight to partner Matt Plant at the heart of the Belper defence whilst Andy Rushbury was also taken out of the firing line having taken a blow in the Spalding match on the wrist that he fractured last season.
Lee Thompson moved back into midfield, which allowed Aaron Pride to regain the right back position.
Belper had much the better of the opening 45 minutes but had to wait until just before the interval to get their noses in front.
Mark Barnard fed the ball through to Luke Fedorenko who in turn laid it into the path of Darryl Thomas who drove the ball across goalkeeper Craig Turner and just inside the far post.
Before that, Turner had been in inspired form to make a point-blank save to deny what looked like a certain goal from Thomas and then saved well when Ruben Wiggins-Thomas outstripped the home defence.
In between, United’s Sam Mullarkey posed the main threat for the hosts but twice he worked his way into good positions only to send his final shot too close to Ali Barcherini.
Lincoln enjoyed their most productive spell late in the first half but Brendan McDaid headed wide when unmarked from a corner kick and Chris Funnell skied a reasonable chance when he had time and space to have done much better.
The Nailers started the second period in explosive fashion and could have extended their lead twice in the opening minutes.
First, Lee Thompson missed badly from 12 yards out after Fedorenko had wrong-footed the Lincoln defence with a great dummy from Thomas’ low cross and then Nicky Darker sent in a great effort from 22 yards that fizzed past the post.
But eventually the floodgates opened after 64 minutes with three goals in a five-minute spell putting the Nailers firmly in the driving seat
Jon Froggatt was totally unopposed when he met Aaron Pride’s cross at the far post despite the home defenders appealing in vain for an offside decision.
Three minutes later, Ruben Wiggins-Thomas (pictured) capped another mesmerising performance when turned impressively inside the penalty area to fire low past the ‘keeper.
And it was virtually ‘game-over’ just 60 seconds later when Luke Fedorenko rolled the ball into the net after his first effort had been blocked.
Those three goals knocked the stuffing out of the home team as Belper continued to play exhibition-style football which warmed the hearts of the freezing Belper supporters if not that of the hardy locals who made up the paltry attendance of just 28 people.
Jon Froggatt made it 5-0 after 80 minutes, after Wiggins-Thomas had created the opportunity for his strike partner and then Luke Fedorenko weighed in with another goal with a confident finish just three minutes later with the Lincoln defence in a state of chaos.
This had been another superb Belper performance, especially in the second half when their football was simply irresistible and to which Lincoln had no answer.
This may not be the sexiest cup competition on the calendar but the Nailers are certainly doing their level best to hang onto the trophy that they won last season.
Lincoln United: Turner, Bull, Fleming (Pickering 75), McDaid, Porter, Wright, Funnell, McGovern, Zuerner, Mullarkey, Coupland (Boyce 75). Other Subs: Green, Smith, McGann.
Belper Town: Barcherini, Pride, Barnard, Darker, Laight, Plant, Wiggons-Thomas, Thompson, Froggatt, Thomas (Wood 72), Fedorenko. Other Subs: Adams, Rushbury, Peel, Simmons.
Referee: Paul Thompson (Chesterfield)