Belper pay the price for dismissal
Belper Town paid the price for having ‘keeper Danny Haystead sent off inside half an hour as Basford consolidated their place in the play off zone.
PHOTO: New signing, Luke Edwards is beaten to the ball by Basford 'keeper Saul Deeney (Photo: Steve Sharman)
The Nailers faced Basford United at the Marston’s stadium on Saturday and were looking to build on a improved performance that brought them victory at Loughborough Dynamo 7 days earlier.
The visitors are having a great first season in the Evo-Stik Division One South and are comfortably positioned in the play-off zone with just two months left of this campaign.
Manager Charlie Palmer introduced another new face in his starting line up with former Loughborough striker Luke Edwards making his debut for the Nailers.
Former Belper striker Ruben Wiggins- Thomas was on the bench for the visitors, however Belper’s star man Rob Stevenson was still on the injured list.
Eric Graves nearly gave Belper the lead on 10 minutes with an over head kick that flicked away off Saul Deeney, and good pressure from Belper in these early stages almost produced an opener when Alex Steadman volleyed just passed the far post from a narrow angle.
Belper lost key defender Phil Watt with a reoccrence of a groin injury and were further handicapped with skipper Eric Graves suffering a nasty eye wound following a clash of heads with team mate Ben Watkis.
Jack Duffy should have done better with an unchallenged header on 22 minutes after Eugen Bopp put a cross over from the by-line, but disaster struck Belper in the 28th minute when Danny Haystead was sent off when he rushed out and tripped Courey Grantham as he raced through.
Bopp took the free kick himself and placed it into the far corner with replacement ‘keeper Charlie Mansfield unable to get near it.
Good build up play from Belper on the stroke of half time could have brought an equaliser but Alex Steadman’s shot on the turn didn’t have sufficient power.
A lively opening to the second period gave hope to Nailers’ supporters, however it was Charlie Mansfield who stood out in the 50th minute with clean diving save to prevent Stuart Hendrie curling the ball in at the far post.
Basford added a second goal in the 61st minute after they broke away down the left and as the ball came to the unmarked Stuart Hendrie, he hit a sweet volley high into the corner of the net.
Mansfield prevented a third goal for Basford when he got a hand to Stuart Hendrie’s shot from close range, then Alex Steadman had two direct efforts shots on target in the space of three minutes but neither gave the ‘keeper any trouble.
Belper Town: Haystead, Bryant, Keenan, Armstrong (Allen 74), Palmer, Watt (Parker 16), Watkis, Graves, Edwards (Mansfield 29),Williams, Steadman.. Unused subs: Constable and Leggit
Basford United: Deeney, Lee, Duffy, Grayson, Rowley, Darkin, Bopp, Duffy J, Hendrie, Grantham, Dixon (Griffiths 67). Unused subs: Wiggins-Thomas, Pickbourne, Wakefield and Wood.
Referee: Guy Stretton (Leicester)