Nailers share the spoils with Fenmen
Belper Town shared the spoils with Wisbech Town, drawing 1-1 in an even encounter, writes Nathaniel Kay
PHOTO: James Leverton finds his way to the ball blocked and the Fenmen find their equaliser
Grant Black made two changes from the draw against Marske United. Alex Peterson missed his first fixture of the season due to suspension, being replaced by debutant Danny Frost. Danny Gordon dropped to the bench, with Craig Nelthorpe filling his midfield berth.
The Fenmen included former Nailers favourite, Lee Stevenson, among their substitutes
With recent form on their side Belper began the match confidently; enjoying the majority of possession in what was a generally untidy opening to the game.
A gilt-edged opportunity fell to Danny Frost. Following a fine interchange with Piteu Crouz, the winger delivered a teasing low cross which was fluffed by Frost in front of goal and the chance was lost.
In a half crying out for clear openings, Derry Robson managed to forge one from virtually nothing.
With the ball falling at his feet following a set piece, he let fly with a fizzing strike from 12 yards which unfortunately for the Nailers, crashed against the top of the cross bar.
A stale second period began from the home side, the interval sucking the momentum from their early endeavours.
Alex Beck’s found the side netting with a subtle flicked effort to provide a genuine scare for Belper.
Belper then almost snatched the lead when Nathan Curtis got his head to a long ball into the penalty area, sending the ball towards a gaping net only to be denied on the goal line by a recovering defender.
In the blink of the eye, the game sparked into life. Ryan Harnwell hurled a fine strike towards James Leverton, but the Belper ‘keeper matched the shot with a smart save to his left.
Belper then broke quickly with Frost forcing the ball back into the danger area. As the ball came loose, substitute Jacob Sturgess could have made a name for himself but saw his shot blocked by Sam Gaughran for an unproductive corner.
As the clock ticked ever closer towards a draw, a moment of genuine quality occurred with seven minutes remaining
Danny South had stayed forward, flicking on a looping ball into Frost’s path. His touch around the corner was timed to perfection, as Nathan Curtis curved his run to beat the offside trap. Veering away from goal, Curtis lashed a thunderbolt into the roof of the Wisbech net in emphatic style.
The points were seconds away from being sealed, yet Wisbech had other ideas.
A towering free kick lifted into the Belper box, saw pressure applied to ‘keeper Leverton who failed to clear the ball, allowing captain Jon Fairweather to drive the ball over the line.
In the overall scheme, the draw was probably a fair result as both Belper and Wisbech had strong first then second halves respectively as the Nailers extended their unbeaten run to five games.
Belper Town: Leverton, Lucas, Clark, Robson, South, Assenso, Curtis, Nelthorpe (Paylor 57), Milner, Frost, Crouz (Sturgess 57). Unused subs: Johall, Esmaeily, Gordon.
Wisbech Town: Swan, Hart, Keeble, Fairweather, Gaughran, Maddison (81 Stevenson), Gale (Bendon 89), Harnwell, Frew, Beck (Nkala 76), Jackson. Unused subs: Millson.
Referee: Neil Allsop