Nailers dealt a hammer blow
By David Laughlin
Belper Town were unable to build on the momentum of their midweek draw with this dreadful performance and consequential defeat at Frickley Athletic.
Aaron Pride was a rare shining light in an otherwise lacklustre Belper performance (Photo: Tim Harrison)
Manager Jon Froggatt was able to welcome back Richard Adams to his squad, following the defender’s move to the Nailers from Goole AFC on the eve of the match.
Scott Low also retained his place in goal ahead of James Martin, whilst Chris Jones started his first game since his lengthy spell on the sidelines with a broken toe.
The home side produced the first opportunity of the game through their tricky winger Brad Riley.
The Blues worked the ball to the left into the path of Riley who cut inside and swung in a cross-come-shot which left Scott Low peddling towards his back post, only to see the ball rise half a yard over the bar.
Striker Gavin Allott then had a penalty appeal turned away, as his shirt appeared to be held whilst getting his shot away from inside the box that fell wide, but the referee waved the calls away.
Frickley continued to push and eventually got their goal in first half stoppage time.
Belper worked the ball up field and saw possession turn over on the edge of their opponents’ box.
The defender then struck a long clearance down the field which was met well by Gavin Allott who used his strength to hold off Chris Jones before slotting the ball beyond Scot Low, who was unable to keep his attempt out despite getting a touch to the ball.
The second half produced a number of chances for both sides, with neither team able to capitalise on their opportunities.
Gavin Allott continued to cause problems for Frickley, as Low was called into action on a number of occasions to keep him out.
Chris Jones came close to an equaliser as his connection at the near post following a corner kick was grasped by home ‘keeper Ben Simpson.
Aaron Cole then saw a tame effort fall kindly for Simpson as his promising run inside from the right ended with a tame left footed effort.
The Blue nearly made it two with 20 minutes remaining as a good break following a Belper corner resulted in a near miss.
Brad Riley burst clear down the right hand side and played the ball across goal to Luke Hinsley who laid the ball off to Max Leonard who struck first time, only for the ball to flash inches past the far post.
The home side then won a penalty with ten minutes remaining in rather dubious circumstances.
Richard Adams was adjudged to have his arms around Allott inside the box, which saw the referee point to the penalty spot, much the Nailers disbelief.
Gavin Allott stepped up and struck a fine spot kick into the bottom right corner.
Arguably, the best chance for Belper came in added time.
Regan Edridge found space on the by-line inside the box, before cutting the ball back to Rob Stevenson, whose goal bound shot deflected off a teammate to slip wide of the near post.
Frickley Athletic: Ben Simpson, Jake Stannard, MaCaulley Parkinson, Max Leonard, John Cyrus, Jameel Ible, Brad Riley (Simon Harrison 88), Matthew Young, Danny South, Gavin Allott (Reece Thompson 90), Luke Hinsley. Subs: Luke Jeffs, Joe Davies, Jon Hood.
Belper Town: Scott Low, Aaron Pride, Bruno Holden, Ian Ross, Chris Jones (Scott James 80), Richard Adams, Aaron Cole, Steve Warne (Regan Edridge 45), Jon Froggatt (Evan Garnett 69), Glyn Cotton, Rob Stevenson. Subs: Matt Varley, James Martin.
Referee: Wayne Grunnill (Hull)