Market Drayton Town 2 Belper Town 4
By David Laughlin
The Nailers completed a convincing double over Market Drayton Town with a 4-2 victory against the Shropshire side at Greenfields.
It was an unchanged line up that faced Market Drayton on a mild April evening and a meagre crowd were entertained with some flowing football and end to end action.
The home side started well with Rob Stevenson testing Ali Barcherini with a low drive that the Belper custodian reached at full stretch to turn the ball around the post.
A good chance fell to Darryl Thomas in the 2nd minute after Ruben Wiggins-Thomas turned the ball into his path and although a defender slipped as he went to challenge making the task easier for, he could only shoot straight at the onrushing ‘keeper.
Market Drayton had the upper hand during this period and an unforced error in midfield on 14 minutes was immediately capitalised on when Paul McMullen sent Michael Koral away, and his cross found Tom Rogers unmarked and he headed easily past Barcherini.
The Nailers quickly gained their composure and dominated play until half time.
Jamie Smith was unlucky to see a first time effort speed just past the post, and as Belper pressed forward relentlessly, Jon Froggatt saw Andy Spooner pull off a great save to prevent his well struck volley going in.
Froggatt went close again in the 30th minute with a shot on the turn, and there was relief on 39 minutes when Jamie Smith equalised with a nicely struck volley from the edge of the area, his first goal for the Nailers.
Pressure told again on the Market Drayton defence on the stroke of half time when Sean Jones hauled down Ruben Wiggins-Thomas as he raced past him into the penalty area, and the referee had no hesitation in awarding Belper a penalty kick.
Jon Froggatt showed his customary coolness to convert to convert the spot kick.
A tentative start to the second period resulted in a breakaway goal for the home side who caught the Nailers cold in the 48th minute.
Rob Stevenson made rapid progress on the right and found Tom Rogers completely unmarked just outside the penalty area, and the striker took the opportunity in his stride, and fired a low shot beyond Barcherini to bring the scores level at 2-2.
This set back was the trigger for Belper to resume their domination seen in the first half and in the 59th minute Jon Froggatt scored a trademark goal with a timely run through the middle and a clinical finish from 15 yards.
Market Drayton always posed a threat on the break, although the more they pushed forward, the more vulnerable they looked at the back.
The clincher came on 76 minutes when Ruben Wiggins-Thomas sent over a low cross into the path of Froggatt (Pictured) who steered the ball home to complete his hat-track and score is 30th goal of the season.
The Nailers went looking for a fifth goal to match their total in the corresponding home fixture a few weeks back, and although another strike wasn’t forthcoming, they can look back on a very good performance.
Market Drayton Town: Spooner, Turton, Jones, Porter (Proffitt 53), McMullen, Stallard, Stevenson (Ellis 85), Humphries, Rogers, Davies, Koral (Baker 73). Unused subs: Garratt, Pryce.
Belper Town: Barcherini, Pride, Davis (Thorpe 75), Thompson, Plant, Adams, Wiggins-Thomas, Smith, Froggatt, Thomas, Weir (Fedorenko 79) Unused subs. Simmons, Rushbury.
Referee: Sarah Garratt (Halesowen)