Frustrating stalemate earns Nailers first home point
A frustrating goalless draw saw Belper Town gain their first home point against Leek Town.
PHOTO: Leek goalkeeper Ben Chapman collects the ball under pressure(Pic: Tim Harrison)
The Nailers had previously played 3 games at home, all of which they had lost, whereas Leek Town had not won a game away from home, setting up an interesting scenario going into the match.
Both teams started the game in the bottom half of the table, but with a number of the teams in the league involved in Emirates FA Cup action, this was a big opportunity for both sides to try and climb up the league table.
The first half was constantly being slowed down with a number of players going down with injuries, this started just 6 minutes in when Leek Town's Jordan Johnson took a clear knock to the head, he attempted to carry on, but it was clear to see that he was unable to continue and was replaced by Sam Grimshaw just minutes later.
Both teams were struggling to create opportunities, with both sides surrendering possession on a regular basis, this made it difficult for either team to find a real flow in the game and get truly comfortable on the ball.
It’s fair to say that this was not one of the most exciting halves of football that has been produced at the Marston's Stadium, but both sides would go into the break happy with some fantastic defensive displays from their centre backs, particularly John Guy for Belper Town who made some superb tackles.
Charlie Palmer would certainly have been hoping to get the Belper Town strikers more involved in the game, with Ruben Wiggins-Thomas hardly touching the ball and looking extremely isolated at times.
Early into the second half, Leek Town had a huge opportunity to break the deadlock, a free kick from 25 yards out, this was taken short to Tim Grice on the edge of the box, he ran unchallenged at the goal before shooting towards the bottom left corner, Danny Haystead pulled out a brilliant save with his right foot to keep the game level.
The injuries continued not long after this, with Dominic Allen having to leave the field with issues with his arm in place of Michael Armstrong who would drop into the left back position.
The biggest chance for the Nailers to take the lead came with just 5 minutes to go, Leek Town left back Alex Morris played a poor back pass to his goalkeeper, which Ruben Wiggins-Thomas intercepted.
The Belper forward attempted to take the ball around the Leek Town keeper but couldn’t quite execute the move and the goalkeeper collected the ball from his feet with ease.
Neither team managed to break this deadlock and so the points were shared, the Nailers collected their first point at home this season, however they would definitely have been hoping that they could have made it 3.
Belper Town: Haystead, Dennis, Allen, Graves, Guy, Watt, Griffiths-Junior, Williams, Wiggins-Thomas, Hollis, Sreadman. Subs: Richards, Armstrong, G Palmer, Birks, King
Referee: David Hunt