Nailers demolish Roms in record victory
By David Laughlin
Belper Town ran riot against a demoralised Romulus side and took full advantage with a record nine-goal haul, and as an added bonus, it was also a memorable return to action for striker Jon Froggatt.
Jon Froggatt celebrated his return to action with an effort that dropped just over the goal line (Photo: Tim Harrison)
Belper manager Peter Duffield elected to leave Jared Stephens on the bench in favour of Mark Ward, while Shaun Roulston was unlucky to be left out following Aaron Pride’s return from suspension.
Mark Ward hit the post at full stretch inside 3 minutes and Richard Stirrup put the ball over with a follow-up effort as the Nailers started the game brightly.
Belper went one up from the penalty spot in the 10th minute following a bizarre incident in which Romulus defender Richard Munday received a red card, presumably for tugging at Shaun Tuton as they both chased a ball into the penalty area. The dismissal looked a harsh decision.
Simon Harrison converted the spot kick although Lewis Exall nearly saved it and just 2 minutes later the Nailers were two up when Shaun Tuton struck a tremendous effort from 22 yards that flew into the top corner leaving Exall rooted to the spot.
Belper tightened their stranglehold on the game in the 17th minute when Colin Marrison headed past Exall following a Simon Harrison free kick, and the Nailers now had the opportunity to run up a big score against a shell-shocked Romulus side.
Daniel O’Callaghan was booked for handling the ball on the edge of the penalty area in the 31st minute but Colin Marrison’s free kick hit the defensive wall and was cleared to safety.
Shaun Tuton did well to create an opening for a shot on the edge of the penalty area on 40 minutes but hit the ball disappointingly high over the cross bar.
Belper should have scored almost straight from the second half restart after Mark Ward slipped the ball the ball through to Shaun Tuton whose shot was blocked by Lewis Exall and Simon Harrison couldn’t quite force the ball over the line.
However Tuton wasn’t to be denied in the 52nd minute when he went on a 30 yard run, taking the ball past three or four players before tucking the ball away from the edge of the six yard area to score a superb individual goal.
Karl Colley forced a great save from Lewis Exall moments after the restart as the Nailers looked to get a fifth goal, and they were helped along the way when Daniel O’Callaghan was sent off after receiving a second yellow card following a blatant trip on Colin Marrison.
Mark Ward’s resulting free kick shaved the cross bar, however in the 61st minute Steve Warne scored a cracking goal with a perfectly stuck low volley from just outside the penalty area.
There was a big cheer in the 70th minute when Jon Froggatt made his long awaited return to first team action and the Nailers were soon celebrating their sixth goal of the evening when Richard Stirrup blasted in an unstoppable shot from 16 yards.
Jon Froggatt made it a scoring comeback in the 77th minute with a close range lob that was given as a goal after it had been hooked off the line, and then Jared Stephens just missed by inches as he ran through unchallenged on the ‘keeper.
Romulus virtually stood and watched the Nailers walk through their defence with Richard Stirrup having all the time in the world to place his shot wide of Mark Bowen, the Romulus substitute goal keeper.
Colin Marrison completed a thoroughly humiliating night for the visitors by hitting a ninth goal from 10 yards and the Nailers could look back on a memorable evening in which they did their confidence, and their goal difference, a power of good.
Belper Town: Ratcliffe, Pride, Wright, Marrison, Adams (Roulston 53), Colley, Harrison, Warne, Ward (Froggatt 70), Tuton (Stephens 73), Stirrup. Other subs: Rushbury, Chapman
Romulus: Exall (Bowen 74), Wynter, Facey, Robinson, Munday, Jackson M (Beckley 36), Ravenhill, Walker, O’Callaghan, Amory, Jackson A. Other subs: Gregory, Meakin-Richards
Referee: Ben Cooke (Atherstone)