Welcome return to winning ways
By David Laughlin
Belper Town secured a very welcome home victory after coming from behind to beat basement club Shepshed Dynamo at Christchurch Meadow.
Nailers’ manager Andy Carney stuck with the same starting eleven for the fifth consecutive game as they faced struggling Dynamo who had yet to win a league game this season.
Belper included former Derby County player Paris Simmons who signed for the Nailers from Hucknall Town last week and he took his place on the substitute’s bench.
Belper striker Justin Jenkins was left in limbo for this match after agreeing a move to the Leicestershire outfit and as part of his transfer agreement he had to sit this one out.
Richie Holmes almost did Belper a favour early in the game when his back pass nearly slipped past Gavin Saxby but the Dynamo ‘keeper managed to get an outstretched foot to the ball.
Jon Froggatt forced Saxby into a full length save from a 7th minute free kick and shortly afterwards the Shepshed ‘keeper kicked Darryl Thomas’ shot off the line.
After a period of scrappy football Thomas glanced a long range Lee Thompson free kick just wide, and despite Dynamo’s lowly status it already looked as though the visitors were going to make life difficult for the Nailers.
In the 21st minute Jon Froggatt looked set to turn the ball in after Thompson crossed from the right but he had the ball taken off his toe, then seconds later Sam Leggitt struck the best effort so far and Ali Barcherini did really well to beat it out.
Ruben Wiggins-Thomas responded with an equally good effort as he sent a bullet header goal bound from Luke Fedorenko’s 23rd minute corner, but Saxby’s reactions were excellent.
Jon Froggatt was unlucky with a looping header in the 32nd minute that bounced on top of the cross bar with Saxby beaten and the Nailers continued to apply pressure in search of the opening goal.
Luke Fedorenko did well to get the ball over in the 37th minute and Matt Plant saw his header swerve away from the upright at the last moment.
However less than sixty seconds later Nailers’ supporters were experiencing a familiar sinking feeling when Shepshed took the lead when Rob Norris exchanged passes with Jean Biansumba and from the edge of the six yard area picked his spot and scored off the foot of the post.
Lee Mellon sent a good shot that was helped over the bar by Barcherini seconds after the restart and the visitors had the ball in the net from the resulting corner kick, however the referee saw an infringement and he disallowed the effort.
But Nailers supporters were celebrating in the 50th minute when they scored an equaliser after Darryl Thomas’ cross was diverted on to the inside of the post by a defender and as the ball ran across the goal line, Ruben Wiggins-Thomas gleefully put it into the back of the net.
Jon Froggatt headed just wide on 61 minutes from a Darryl Thomas cross and the Nailers were looking a threat every time they went forward.
The Nailers should have taken the lead in the 66th minute after Luke Fedorenko sent Jon Froggatt away down the left and his cross was missed by Darryl Thomas who was just a whisker away from making contact.
Ruben Wiggins-Thomas could only admire Saxby’s agility in the 76th minute when flicked his well placed header over the cross bar and moments later Mark Barnard lifted the ball over the Dynamo defence but Paris Simmons’ attempted lob went well wide.
However in the 85th minute the Nailers forged ahead when Tim Wilkes’ careless back pass reached Paris Simmons (pictured) who ran on to side step the ‘keeper and roll the ball into the net.
The Nailers suffered some hairy moments in the latter stages as Shepshed forced a couple of corners that Belper found difficult to clear, but there was no doubt that they deserved their first home victory since the middle of September.
Belper Town: Barcherini, Pride, Barnard (Wood 82), Darker, Adams, Plant, Wiggins-Thomas, Thompson (Simmons 45), Froggatt, Thomas (Rushbury 70), Fedorenko. Subs. not used: Laight, Peel.
Shepshed Dynamo: Saxby, Fairclough, Lund, Holmes, Screaton, Hewitt, Bolland, Mellon (Buckley 74), Biansumba, Norris, Leggitt (Langham 88), Wilkes.
Referee: Mick Bell (Rotherham).
Match Sponsor: Midway Fencing Contractors.
Man of the Match: Matt Plant