Final day defeat
Belper’s sorry end of the season ended in yet another a loss at Newcastle Town, who maintained their place in the Evo-Stik league as a result.
Aaron Webster made one change to his final team selection of the season, Jake McIntosh returning to the starting line up in place of Jorge Knowles.
In a half of football where the most entertaining moment was the linesman falling over whilst getting into position, Belper will have been grateful not to have conceded in the opening exchanges.
Full back Ricky Bridge tried his luck from distance, only to be denied by a coat of paint, leaving Joe Searson-Smithard stranded.
Newcastle knew that avoiding defeat would cement their position in the League, making Belper’s life largely difficult. A blue wall often greeted the Belper attack, limiting the chance count to very few.
Rod Orlando-Young caught out the home crowd, his deflected shot hitting the side netting rather than the back of the net, to ultimately false cheers.
After a torrid run of results, Webster’s side looked far steadied and settled than in previous weeks, which in fairness wasn’t a hard task to meet.
Although The Nailers edged possession, there was nothing in the sense of clinical finishing upfront. At the other end, Orlando-Young cut in from the left and shot comfortably at Searson-Smithard.
The young keeper made his most meaningful save of the afternoon, palming the ball to safety after a goal bound header.
Aaron Bott held his head in his hands after flicking the ball over the bar from six yards out, wrapping up a scrappy half.
With Webster returning to the side line, his team missed that managerial guidance and at times kept possession with the confidence demonstrated during their good run of form.
Sam Birks squandered Belper’s brightest opportunity, glancing his header shy of the post.
Without luck inside the area, Kieran Harrison tried his hand from distance and forced Adam Alcock into a smart save low down to his left.
Much the sorry story of Belper’s season, they were the makers of their own downfall. Aaron Cole failed to clear his lines, allowing Orlando- Young to nick the ball from him. Going around Joe Hunt, the winger calmly slotted his strike under Searson-Smithard to the roar of the home support.
Newcastle sealed their survival with help once more from the Belper defence. Failing to clear their lines fully, Aaron Bott skipped past McIntosh, steadied himself and fired himself onto the score sheet ten minutes from time.
Belper had no reply or fight left and the players must have been grateful for the final whistle to call time on an ultimately frustrating season which never really seemed to kick into gear.
Belper Town: Searson-Smithard, Hunt, Cole, Dennis (Knowles 86), Harrison, McIntosh, Steele (Taylor 81), Lloyd, Garnett (Birks 30), Williamson, Jebbison. Unused subs: Goddard, Daniels.
Newcastle Town: Alcock, Bradbury, Bridge, Freeland, Lowe, Davies, Bailey, Askey, Bott, Curtis, Orlando-Young. Unused subs: Lee, Kapend, Shaw, Stubbs, Gill.
Referee: Greg Rollason