10-man Belper fall to first defeat
Leek take all three points as Belper taste defeat for the first time this season.
PHOTO | Evan Garnett controls the ball ahead of Leek skipper (and former Nailer), Ant Danylyk (Pic: Tim Harrison)
Dan Cope curled in a delightful free-kick from 25-yards out for Leek in the second half which was the difference between the two sides.
Paul Lister was sent off deep into the second half for a professional foul on Leek forward James Curley as he was running clean through on goal.
Belper almost snatched a point in the dying seconds of the game as centre-half Phil Watt’s strong header, from a Ben Fairclough corner was tipped over by Leek goalkeeper Chris Martin.
Nailer’s manager Jim Albans was sent to the stands for the second half in a bizarre turn of events, referee Matthew Bond instructed Albans to watch the second half from the stands for foul & abusive language in the eighth minute, as the Belper gaffer protested a penalty shout after Michael Towey looked to have been tripped in the box.
Chances were few and far between, with Leek front man Curley having the best two chances for his side. He could have opened the scoring fifteen minutes in after being slipped through by strike partner Cope but could only roll wide of the target.
His second chance came twenty minutes from time as route one football proved Belper’s undoing, Curley collected a flick-on from the goal scorer Cope, but he dragged the ball wide of Belper ‘keeper Danny Haystead’s right hand post.
Belper had another glorious chance to equlaise late on through Sam Purcicoe when the ball fell to him just inside the penalty area, Evan Garnett diverted a Fairclough cross into Purcicoe’s path who curled his shot wide with his weaker left-foot.
New signing Antonio Wedderburn came off the bench to make his debut for the Nailers, replacing Grant Ryan, who now starts his three game ban following his sending off in the win over Coalville Town just over a week ago.
Other new signing Tom Liversedge was not available for this afternoon’s fixture due to to a family wedding but he will be available for Belper’s trip to Spalding on Tuesday as he is expected to replace the suspended Ryan.
Leek Town: Martin; Bradbury, Jackson, Price, Askey, Strzyzewski, Danylyk (Capt.), Shelley (Johnson 86’), Cope (Whitehead 88’), Curley, Maguire.Other subs: Macpherson, Grocott, Langridge.
Belper Town: Haystead; Purcicoe, Lister, Watt, Matthews; Williams, Wilson (Capt.), Towey; Garnett, Ryan (Wedderburn 65’), Stevenson (Fairclough 82’). Other subs: Cooksey, Taylor, Johnson.
Referee: Matthew Bond