Froggatt hat-trick inspires Nailers
By David Laughlin
A Jon Froggatt (pictured) hat trick set Belper Town on their way to their biggest victory of the season and re-established their play off aspirations
With Matt Plant serving a one match suspension, Craig Laight had the opportunity to impress manager Andy Carney as he started alongside Richard Adams in the centre of the Nailers defence.
Paris Simmons was fit enough to take his place on the bench after missing the midweek victory at Brigg through illness, and Russ Peel was preferred ahead of Luke Fedorenko who had made a match winning appearance late in the game at the Hawthorns.
Romulus were making their first ever visit to Christchurch Meadow and after a strong finish to their Zamaretto League season in May, found themselves switching across to the Evo-Stik League during the summer.
Their lowly position in the league table was unrealistic due to the fact that they had only played seven games.
It was a fairly untidy start to the game with Belper winning two corner kicks in the first ten minutes, but the tall central pairing of Philip Male and David Barnett were dominant in the air.
Good work by Nicky Darker in regaining the ball and freeing Jon Froggatt nearly produced the opening goal in the 13th minute, but his well struck shot was saved by the prostrate Lee Clarke.
However the Nailers struck first in the 19th minute when Jon Froggatt’s glancing header from Nicky Darker’s cross, eluded the ‘keeper as the ball bounced inside the far post.
It only took Belper 8 minutes to add to their total and it was the culmination of an incisive piece of football.
Ruben Wiggins-Thomas’ pass was weighted perfectly for Darryl Thomas to run on to and his first time cross to the edge of the six yard area was met on the volley by Jon Froggatt and the ball flew high into the net.
Romulus were a whisker away from pulling a goal back in the 33rd minute when Peter Faulds’ shot was partly saved by Ali Barcherini, and Lee Thompson completed the clearance by hitting the under side of the cross bar before the referee brought the game to a halt for a subsequent infringement.
However within a minute Nailers’ supporters were cheering a Jon Froggatt hat trick after the Belper striker met a Lee Thompson cross and his looping header went into the far corner with Clark helpless to intervene.
Darryl Thomas could have made it four in the 41st minute after he had skipped past three defenders as he ran across the penalty area, but he skied his shot with only Clark to beat.
Thomas was unlucky to see his shot saved after Lee Thompson’s quickly taken throw in on 50 minutes and from the resulting corner kick. Froggatt nearly scored another with a glancing header from a Mark Barnard cross.
Romulus proved that they were still a threat when Marvin Johnson ran 30 yards before releasing a powerful shot that Barcherini did well to push over the cross bar, and supporters were eager to see a fourth goal from the Nailers which would mean they could relax for the remaining 30 minutes or so.
That goal nearly arrived in the 65th minute when Darryl Thomas whipped over a cross from the right, but it bounced awkwardly for Ruben Wiggins-Thomas who, theoretically at least, had an open goal in front of him.
Ashley Jackson forced Barcherini into a diving save as he ran through unchallenged in the 73rd minute and Romulus had looked more purposeful in the second period without causing too many serious problems.
The visitor’s opportunity to reduce the arrears arrived in the 80th minute when Lee Thompson clearly fouled Marvin Johnson inside the penalty area and Marcus Brown gave Romulus a glimmer of hope by converting the spot kick.
But the Nailers restored their lead in the 90th minute after the referee’s assistant spotted an infringement on Chris Wood inside the box and Darryl Thomas stepped up and coolly scored from the penalty spot.
This was a satisfying victory for the Nailers who showed that when they take their chances they can be formidable opponents, home and away.
Belper Town:: Barcherini, Thompson, Barnard, Darker, Adams, Laight, Wiggins-Thomas, Rushbury, Froggatt (Wood 84), Thomas, Peel (Fedorenko 62). Other subs. not used: Simmons, Pride, Carney.
Romulus: Clark, Evans, Paskin, Barnett (Robinson R 45), Male, Day, Link, Faulds (Arshad 75), Brown, Johnson, Jackson. Other subs. not used: Collins, Robinson T, Exall.
Referee:David Hunt (Warsop)
Match Sponsors: T&T Wright Builders
Man of the Match: Jon Froggatt