Belper Town 0 Newcastle Town 5
By David Laughlin
Belper Town conceded five goals for the fifth time this season as they crashed to yet another home defeat and extended their winless streak in the league at Christchurch Meadow to nine games.
The Nailers were facing Newcastle Town for the second time in a week and were forced into a goal keeping change when Steve Hernandez (pictured) took over from the injured Ali Barcherini who missed only his second game of the season, while Nicky Darker was still absent due to holiday commitments.
Belper were the better side for the first half hour or so and began the game on in a sprightly manner.
In the 4th minute Charlie Weir’s cross needed touching over the bar by ‘keeper Daniel Read then Ruben Wiggins-Thomas’ glancing header fell kindly for the Castle ‘keeper.
Darryl Thomas did well to control a poor clearance from the ‘keeper in the 14th minute and then struck a powerful shot that Read did well to punch away.
Charlie Weir hit one from the edge of the penalty area that had to be pushed away from the foot of the post, and the Nailers had certainly been asking all the questions in the first 20 minutes.
However despite Belper’s dominance it was Newcastle who came closest to opening the scoring when Jordan Johnson ran clear and hit the outside of the far post with a low drive from the opposite side of the penalty area.
Ian Willis and Jordan Johnson combined well in the 32nd minute and caused problems for the Nailers without creating a scoring opportunity, but misfortune befell Belper 2 minutes later when Aaron Pride handled Johnson’s driven shot on the line.
The referee immediately awarded Newcastle a penalty kick and somewhat harshly showed Pride a red card, then Jordan Johnson confidently converted the spot kick to put the visitors ahead, arguably against the run of play.
This was the turning point for Belper who just couldn’t cope with the numerical disadvantage, and the Nailers were undone by Johnson again in the 45th minute as this time he turned provider by setting up Alan Nagington who tucked the ball away at the near post, giving the visitors a comfortable lead at the break.
It would have needed something special from ten men Belper if they were to retrieve anything from this game, however they nearly worked an equaliser in the 55th minute when Darryl Thomas slipped the ball through to Paris Simmons, but Daniel Read got to it ahead of him.
Steve Hernandez pulled off a great save from Jordan Johnson’s volley in the 61st minute but Newcastle didn’t have to wait too long for their third goal when substitute Neville Thompson swept the ball in off the far post to virtually seal the points for the visitors.
Ruben Wiggins-Thomas worked his way into the penalty area in the 80th minute but his cross was cut out for a corner kick, and to be fair the Nailers weren’t giving up despite the mountainous task they had facing them.
Charlie Weir tried a speculative effort from 25 yards and although he struck it well the ball was a nice height for the ‘keeper who’d had very little to do in the second half.
Jordan Johnson scored his second goal of the night in the 86th minute when he had time to place his shot through a forest of legs and register Newcastle’s fourth, then a minute later Johnson completed his hat trick with another well placed effort over Fernandez from 20 yards.
The final whistle came as a welcome relief to the Nailers, leaving their bewildered supporters wondering what had gone wrong with their season and understandable concerns about what the remainder of the season would bring.
Belper Town: Hernandez, Pride, Thompson L, Thorpe (Rushbury 65), Plant, Adams, Wiggins-Thomas, Simmons (Davis 65), Froggatt, Thomas, Weir. Unused subs: Barnard, Carney.
Newcastle Town: Read, George, Willis, Donnelly, Dicker, Douglas, Johnson, Treague (Thompson N 63), Budrys, Nagington (Richards 75), Espley (Skelton 68). Unused subs: Heler.
Referee: Alan Hull (Sheffield)
Match Sponsor: Super Draw Lottery
Man of the Match: Richard Adams