Nailers cruise to victory
By David Laughlin
Belper Town ended a run of four consecutive league and cup defeats by running out comfortable winners at newly promoted Rainworth Miners Welfare.
This victory came at a good moment for Belper manager Andy Carney who had begun to feel the pressure after first round exits in both FA competitions, but he has always maintained that his new look Nailers side needed only to take their chances to transform their season.
In this game they did just that, but it should have been so much easier.
Rainworth, who earned their place in the Evo-Stik League after coming runners up to run away champions Bridlington Town, offered very little as an attacking threat and it was quite a comfortable afternoon for Belper’s defenders.
Andy Carney kept faith with the starting eleven that lost so disappointingly to Harrogate Rail in the FA Trophy the previous week, and there was also some good news as a fit again Andy Rushbury was named as a substitute.
The Nailers started the game strongly and came close to opening the scoring after only two minutes when Daryll Thomas side footed a Lee Thompson corner kick just wide of the target.
Luke Fedorenko caused problems with an in swinging free kick on 12 minutes and Wrens’ ‘keeper Mark Hales showed good handling skills in the face of many heads and legs all vying for a vital touch.
Daryll Thomas desperately needs a goal and although this was his best performance generally for the Nailers he has yet to get off the mark despite the chances he’s had.
His missed opportunity in the 15th minute was a classic example when after taking Jon Froggatt’s pass in his stride, he stepped inside his marker and with only the ‘keeper to beat hit his shot well wide of the far post.
Dennis Simms was on target for the Wrens in the 25th minute and Ali Barcherini got down well to make the save, and three minutes later the Nailers were celebrating their first goal.
A quickly taken free kick resulted in Jon Froggatt having possession on the edge of the penalty area and he was able to nudge the ball inside to Luke Fedorenko (pictured).
After feigning this way and that he struck a delightful chip shot from 16 yards that completely fooled Mark Hales as the ball dropped over him and into the net.
Fedorenko’s good work was nearly thrown away in the 31st minute when Ali Barcherini showed uncharacteristic rashness by racing out of his area to claim the ball but before he could get there Brendan Sweeney had taken possession and only a deflection and Aaron Pride’s presence on goal line prevented an equaliser.
Rainworth’s best spell of the game lasted for about ten minutes and Craig Mitchell went close in this period with a glancing header off Danny Bainbridge’s free kick, however Barcherini saw the ball safely over the cross bar.
Ruben Wiggins-Thomas almost finished the half on a high for the Nailers after some good ball skills produced an opening for a shot, but he couldn’t keep the ball down and it went off target.
It was rather scrappy opening to the second half in which Belper found it difficult to make an impression and in fact Rainworth had the best effort in this spell when Craig Mitchell hit a ground shot just wide of the far post.
However Belper quickly recovered and resumed their dominance, which was rewarded with a second goal on 58 minutes.
Daryll Thomas ran clear with the ball and appeared to have put his cross behind everyone but somehow it reached Ruben Wiggins-Thomas who quickly adjusted his position and hit a left foot shot beyond Hales into the far corner.
The second goal evoked a fairly lukewarm response from the home team although Craig Mitchell did have a 61st minute free kick shepherded over the bar by Barcherini.
Daryll Thomas should have claimed his first goal moments later when he was sent clear with only the ‘keeper to beat but Hales came with out speed to block Thomas’ shot with his legs.
Hales was the Wrens’ man of the match by a long way and he capped a good performance by saving brilliantly to deny Jon Froggatt with 15 minutes on the clock, and if Mark Barnard’s speculative 22-yard volley had gone in 5 minutes before the end then it would have been a strong candidate for goal of the season.
It was a satisfying win on the road for Andy Carney’s men and a welcome three points saw the Nailers move up to seventh in the league table.
Rainworth M.W.: Hales, Hollis, Bainbridge, Alberry, Charlesworth, Draper, Baxter (Hunt 72), Hewitt (Moxam 62), Mitchell, Simms, Sweeney (Fearon 66). Subs not used: Topliss, Dobbs.
Belper Town: Barcherini, Pride, Barnard, Darker, Adams, Plant, Wiggins-Thomas, Thompson, Froggatt, Thomas (Wood 82), Fedorenko. Subs. not used: Peel, Warren, Laight, Rushbury.
Referee: Chris Marsden (Leicester).
Man of the Match: Nick Darker